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R. W. CHURCH, M.A., D.C.L. 






All rights reserved 

First Edition {Demy Zvd) printed March 1891 

Second Edition April 1891 ; reprinted April 1891 

Third Edition {Crown 8w) 1892 


The revision of these papers was a task to which the 
late Dean of St. Paul's gave all the work he could 
during the last months of his life. At the time of his 
death, fourteen of the papers had, so far as can be 
judged, received the form in which he wished them to 
be published ; and these, of course, are printed here 
exactly as he left them. One more he had all but 
prepared for publication ; the last four were mainly in 
the condition in which, six years ago, he had them 
privately put into type, for the convenience of his own 
further work upon them, and for the reading of two or 
three intimate friends. Those into whose care his 
work has now come have tried, with the help of his 
pencilled notes, to bring these four papers as nearly as 
they can into the form which they believe he would 
have had them take. But it has seemed better to 
leave unaltered a sentence here and there to which 
he might have given a more perfect shape, rather 
than to run the risk of swerving from the thought 
which was in his mind. 


It is possible that the Dean would have made con- 
siderable changes in the preface which is here printed ; 
for only that which seems the first draft of it has been 
found. But even thus it serves to show his wish and 
purpose for the work he had in hand ; and it has 
therefore been thought best to publish it. Leave has 
been obtained to add here some fragments from a 
letter which, three years ago, he wrote to Lord Acton 
about these papers : 

" If I ever publish them, I must say distinctly 
what I want to do, which is, not to pretend to write 
a history of the movement, or to account for it or 
adequately to judge it and put it in its due place 
in relation to the religious and philosophical history 
of the time, but simply to preserve a contemporary 
memorial of what seems to me to have been a true 
and noble effort which passed before my eyes, a short 
scene of religious earnestness and aspiration, with all 
that was in it of self-devotion, affectionateness, and 
high and refined and varied character, displayed under 
circumstances which are scarcely intelligible to men 
of the present time; so enormous have been the 
changes in what was assumed and acted upon, and 
thought practicable and reasonable, ' fifty years since/ 
For their time and opportunities, the men of the move- 
ment, with all their imperfect equipment and their 
mistakes, still seem to me the salt of their generation. 
... I wish to leave behind me a record that one who 
lived with them, and lived long beyond most of them, 
believed in the reality of their goodness and height of 


character, and still looks back with deepest reverence 
to those forgotten men as the companions to whose 
teaching and example he owes an infinite debt, and 
not he only, but religious society in England of all 

January ^\st, 1891. 


The following pages relate to that stage in the Church 
revival of this century which is familiarly known as 
the Oxford Movement, or, to use its nickname, the 
Tractarian Movement. Various side influences and 
conditions affected it at its beginning and in its course; 
but the impelling and governing force was, throughout 
the years with which these pages are concerned, at 
Oxford. It was naturally and justly associated with 
Oxford, from which it received some of its most 
marked characteristics. Oxford men started it and 
guided it. At Oxford were raised its first hopes, and 
Oxford was the scene of its first successes. At Oxford 
were its deep disappointments, and its apparently fatal 
defeat. And it won and lost, as a champion of English 
theology and religion, a man of genius, whose name is 
among the illustrious names of his age, a name which 
will always be connected with modern Oxford, and is 
likely to be long remembered wherever the English 
language is studied. 

We are sometimes told that enough has been 


written about the Oxford Movement, and that the 
world is rather tired of the subject. A good deal has 
certainly been both said and written about it, and 
more is probably still to come ; and it is true that 
other interests, more immediate or more attractive, 
have thrown into the background what is severed 
from us by the interval of half a century. Still that 
movement had a good deal to do with what is going 
on in everyday life among us now ; and feelings both 
of hostility to it, and of sympathy with it, are still 
lively and keen among those to whom religion is a 
serious subject, and even among some who are neutral 
in the questions which it raised, but who find in it 
a study of thought and character. I myself doubt 
whether the interest of it is so exhausted as is some- 
times assumed. If it is, these pages will soon find 
their appropriate resting-place. But I venture to 
present them, because, though a good many judgments 
upon the movement have been put forth, they have 
come mostly from those who have been more or less 
avowedly opposed to it. 1 The men of most account 
among those who were attracted by it and represented 
it have, with one illustrious exception, passed away. 
A survivor of the generation which it stirred so deeply 
may not have much that is new to tell about it. He 
may not be able to affect much the judgment which 
will finally be accepted about it. But the fact is not 

1 It is hardly necessary to say that these and the following 
words were written before Dr. Newman's death, and the publication 
of h\s letters. 


unimportant, that a number of able and earnest men, 
men who both intellectually and morally would have 
been counted at the moment as part of the promise 
of the coming time, were fascinated and absorbed by 
it. It turned and governed their lives, lifting them 
out of custom and convention to efforts after some- 
thing higher, something worthier of what they were. 
It seemed worth while to exhibit the course of the 
movement as it looked to these men — as it seemed to 
them viewed from the inside. My excuse for adding 
to so much that has been already written is, that I was 
familiar with many of the chief actors in the move- 
ment. And I do not like that the remembrance of 
friends and associates, men of singular purity of life 
and purpose, who raised the tone of living round them, 
and by their example, if not by their ideas, recalled 
both Oxford and the Church to a truer sense of their 
responsibilities, should, because no one would take 
the trouble to put things on record, "pass away like a 

The following pages were, for the most part, written, 
and put into printed shape, in 1884 and 1885. Since 
they were written, books have appeared, some of them 
important ones, going over most of the same ground ; 
while yet more volumes may be expected. We have 
had ingenious theories of the genesis of the move- 
ment, and the filiation of its ideas. Attempts have 
been made to alter the proportions of the scene and 
of the several parts played upon it, and to reduce the 
common estimate of the weight and influence of some 

xil PliEFACE 

of the most prominent personages. The point of view 
of those who have thus written is not mine, and they 
tell their story (with a full right so to do) as I tell 
mine. But I do not purpose to compare and adjust 
our respective accounts— to attack theirs, or to defend 
my own. I have not gone through their books to find 
statements to except to, or to qualify. The task 
would be a tiresome and unprofitable one. I under- 
stand their point of view, though I do not accept it. 
I do not doubt their good faith, and I hope that they 
will allow mine. 




The Church in the Reform Days . . i 


The Beginning of the Movement — John 

Keele ....... 23 

Richard Hurrell Froude .... 34 


Mr. Newman's Early Friends — Isaac 

Williams 65 


Charles Marriott . . • . 79 




The Oxford Tracts ..... 92 

The Tractarians . . . . . .127 


Subscription at Matriculation and Admis- 
sion of Dissenters . . . 146 

Dr. Hampden 159 

Growth of the Movement, 1 835-1 840 . 177 

The Roman Question . . . . .201 

Changes 218 




The Authorities and the Movement . 243 

No. 90 ....... 266 

After No. 90 ..... 296 


The Three Defeats : Isaac Williams, 

Macmullen, Pusey . . . .312 

W. G. Ward 336 

The Ideal of a Christian Church . 360 

The Catastrophe 385 




What is called the Oxford or Tractarian movement 
began, without doubt, in a vigorous effort for the 
immediate defence of the Church against serious 
dangers, arising from the violent and threatening 
temper of the days of the Reform Bill. It was one 
of several and widely differing efforts. Viewed super- 
ficially it had its origin in the accident of an urgent 
necessity. 1 The Church was really at the moment 
imperilled amid the crude revolutionary projects of 
the Reform epoch ; 2 and something bolder and more 

1 The suppression of the Irish bishoprics. Palmer, Narrative 
(1883), pp. 44, 101. Maurice, Life, i. 180. 

2 "The Church, as it now stands, no human power can save " 
(Arnold to Tyler, June 1832. Life, i. 326). "Nothing, as it 
seems to me, can save the Church but an union with the Dissenters ; 
now they are leagued with the antichristian party, and no merely 
internal reforms will satisfy them" (Arnold to YVhately, January 
1833, i. 348). He afterwards thought this exaggerated [Life, i. 
336). ' ' The Church has been for one hundred years without any 

& B 



effective than the ordinary apologies for the Church 
was the call of the hour. The official leaders of the 
Church were almost stunned and bewildered by the 
fierce outbreak of popular hostility. The answers put 
forth on its behalf to the clamour for extensive and 
even destructive change were the work of men sur- 
prised in a moment of security. They scarcely recog- 
nised the difference between what was indefensible 
and what must be fought for to the death ; they 
mistook subordinate or unimportant points for the 
key of their position : in their compromises or in their 
resistance they wanted the guidance of clear and 
adequate principles, and they were vacillating and 
ineffective. But stronger and far-seeing minds per- 
ceived the need of a broad and intelligible basis on 
which to maintain the cause of the Church. For the 
air was full of new ideas ; the temper of the time was 
bold and enterprising. It was felt by men who looked 
forward, that to hold their own they must have some- 
thing more to show than custom or alleged expediency 
— they must sound the depths of their own convictions, 
and not be afraid to assert the claims of these con- 
government, and in such a stormy season it will not go on much 
longer without a rudder" (Whately to Bp. Copleston, July 1832. 
Life, i. 167). " If such an arrangement of the Executive Govern- 
ment is completed, it will be a difficult, but great and glorious 
feat for your Lordship's ministry to preserve the establishment from 
utter overthrow" (Whately to Lord Grey, May 1832. Life, i. 
156). It is remarkable that Dean Stanley should have been 
satisfied with ascribing to the movement an "origin entirely 
political," and should have seen a proof of this "thoroughly 
political origin " in Newman's observing the date of Mr. Keble's 
sermon "National Apostasy" as the birthday of the movement. 
Edin. Rev. April 1880, pp. 309, 310. 


victions on men's reason and imagination as well as on 
their associations and feelings. The same dangers and 
necessities acted differently on different minds ; but 
among those who were awakened by them to the 
presence of a great crisis were the first movers in 
what came to be known as the Tractarian movement. 
The stir around them, the perils which seemed to 
threaten, were a call to them to examine afresh the 
meaning of their familiar words and professions. 

For the Church, as it had been in the quiet days 
of the eighteenth century, was scarcely adapted to 
the needs of more stirring times. The idea of clerical 
life had certainly sunk, both in fact and in the popular 
estimate of it. The disproportion between the pur- 
poses for which the Church with its ministry was 
founded and the actual tone of feeling among those 
responsible for its service had become too great. 
Men were afraid of principles ; the one thing they 
most shrank from was the suspicion of enthusiasm. 
Bishop Lavington wrote a book to hold up to scorn 
the enthusiasm of Methodists and Papists ; and what 
would have seemed reasonable and natural in matters 
of religion and worship in the age of Cranmer, in the 
age of Hooker, in the age of Andrewes, or in the 
age of Ken, seemed extravagant in the age which 
reflected the spirit of Tillotson and Seeker, and even 
Porteus. The typical clergyman in English pictures 
of the manners of the day, in the Vicar of Wakefield, 
in Miss Austen's novels, in Crabbe's Parish Register, 
is represented, often quite unsuspiciously, as a kindly 


and respectable person, but certainly not alive to the 
greatness of his calling. He was often much, very 
much, to the society round him. When communica- 
tion was so difficult and infrequent, he filled a place in 
the country life of England which no one else could 
fill. He was often the patriarch of his parish, its ruler, 
its doctor, its lawyer, its magistrate, as well as its 
teacher, before whom vice trembled and rebellion 
dared not show itself. The idea of the priest was not 
quite forgotten ; but there was much — much even of 
what was good and useful — to obscure it. The 
beauty of the English Church in this time was its 
family life of purity and simplicity ; its blot was quiet 
worldliness. It has sometimes been the fashion in 
later days of strife and disquiet to regret that un- 
pretending estimate of clerical duty and those easy- 
going days ; as it has sometimes been the fashion to 
regret the pomp and dignity with which well-born 
or scholarly bishops, furnished with ample leisure and 
splendid revenues, presided in unapproachable state 
over their clergy and held their own among the great 
county families. Most things have a side for which 
something can be said ; and we may truthfully and 
thankfully recall that among the clergy of those days 
there were not a few but many instances, not only of 
gentle manners, and warm benevolence, and cultivated 
intelligence, but of simple piety and holy life. 1 But 
the fortunes of the Church are not safe in the hands 

1 Readers of Wordsworth will remember the account of Mr. R. 
Walker (Notes to the " River Duddon "). 


of a clergy, of which a great part take their obligations 
easily. It was slumbering and sleeping when the 
visitation of days of change and trouble came upon it. 
Against this state of things the Oxford movement 
was a determined revolt ; but, as has been said, it was 
not the only one, nor the first. A profound discontent 
at the state of religion in England had taken pos- 
session of many powerful and serious minds in the 
generation which was rising into manhood at the close 
of the first quarter of the century ; and others besides 
the leaders of the movement were feeling their way 
to firmer ground. Other writers of very different 
principles, and with different objects, had become alive, 
among other things, to the importance of true ideas 
about the Church, impatient at the ignorance and 
shallowness of the current views of it, and alarmed at 
the dangers which menaced it. Two Oxford teachers 
who commanded much attention by their force and 
boldness — Dr. Whately and Dr. Arnold — had de- 
veloped their theories about the nature, constitution, 
and functions of the Church. They were dissatisfied 
with the general stagnation of religious opinion, on 
this as on other subjects. They agreed in resenting 
the unintelligent shortsightedness which relegated such 
a matter to a third or fourth rank in the scale of 
religious teaching. They agreed also in seizing the 
spiritual aspect of the Church, and in raising the idea 
of it above the level of the poor and worldly con- 
ceptions on the assumption of which questions relating 
to it were popularly discussed. But in their funda- 


mental principles they were far apart. I assume, on 
the authority of Cardinal Newman, what was widely 
believed in Oxford, and never apparently denied, that 
the volume entitled Letters of an Episcopalian? 1826, 
was, in some sense at least, the work of Dr. Whately. 
In it is sketched forth the conception of an organised 
body, introduced into the world by Christ Himself, 
endowed with definite spiritual powers and with no 
other, and, whether connected with the State or not, 
having an independent existence and inalienable 
claims, with its own objects and laws, with its own 
moral standard and spirit and character. From this 
book Cardinal Newman tells us that he learnt his 
theory of the Church, though it was, after all, but 
the theory received from the first appearance of Chris- 
tian history ; and he records also the deep impression 
which it made on others. Dr. Arnold's view was a 
much simpler one. He divided the world into Chris- 
tians and non-Christians : Christians were all who 
professed to believe in Christ as a Divine Person and 
to worship Him, 2 and the brotherhood, the "Societas" 
of Christians, was all that was meant by "the Church" 
in the New Testament. It mattered, of course, to 
the conscience of each Christian what he had made 
up his mind to believe, but to no one else. Church 
organisation was, according to circumstances, partly 
inevitable or expedient, partly mischievous, but in no 
case of divine authority. Teaching, ministering the 

1 Compare Life of Whately (ed. 1866), i. 52, 68. 

2 Arnold to W. Smith, Life, i. 356-358 ; ii. 32. 


word, was a thing of divine appointment, but not so 
the mode of exercising it, either as to persons, forms, 
or methods. Sacraments there were, signs and pledges 
of divine love and help, in every action of life, in every 
sight of nature, and eminently two most touching ones, 
recommended to Christians by the Redeemer Him- 
self; but except as a matter of mere order, one man 
might deal with these as lawfully as another. Church 
history there was, fruitful in interest, instruction, and 
warning ; for it was the record of the long struggle of 
the true idea of the Church against the false, and of 
the fatal disappearance of the true before the forces 
of blindness and wickedness. 1 Dr. Arnold's was a 
passionate attempt to place the true idea in the light. 
Of the difficulties of his theory he made light account. 
There was the vivid central truth which glowed 
through his soul and quickened all his thoughts. He 
became its champion and militant apostle. These 
doctrines, combined with his strong political liberalism, 
made the Midlands hot for Dr. Arnold. But he liked 
the fighting, as he thought, against the narrow and 
frightened orthodoxy round him. And he was in the 
thick of this fighting when another set of ideas about 
the Church — the ideas on which alone it seemed to a 
number of earnest and anxious minds that the cause 
of the Church could be maintained — the ideas which 
were the beginning of the Oxford movement, crossed 
his path. It was the old orthodox tradition of the 
Church, with fresh life put into it, which he flattered 

1 Life, i. 225 sgq. 


himself that he had so triumphantly demolished. 
This intrusion of a despised rival to his own teaching 
about the Church — teaching in which he believed 
with deep and fervent conviction — profoundly irritated 
him ; all the more that it came from men who had 
been among his friends, and who, he thought, should 
have known better. 1 

But neither Dr. Whately's nor Dr. Arnold's attempts 
to put the old subject of the Church in a new light 
gained much hold on the public mind. One was too 
abstract ; the other too unhistorical and revolutionary. 
Both in Oxford and in the country were men whose 
hearts burned within them for something less specu- 
lative and vague, something more reverent and less 
individual, more in sympathy with the inherited spirit 
of the Church. It did not need much searching to 
find in the facts and history of the Church ample 
evidence of principles distinct and inspiring, which, 
however long latent, or overlaid by superficial accre- 
tions, were as well fitted as they ever were to animate 
its defenders in the struggle with the unfriendly 
opinion of the day. They could not open their 
Prayer - Books, and think of what they read there, 
without seeing that on the face of it the Church 
claimed to be something very different from what it 
was assumed to be in the current controversies of the 
time, very different from a mere institution of the 

1 "I am vexed to find how much hopeless bigotry lingers in 
minds, ols TjKcara exPV " (Arnold to Whately, Sept. 1832. Life, 
»■ 331 I "• 3-7)- 


State, from a vague collection of Christian professions, 
from one form or denomination of religion among 
many, distinguished by larger privileges and larger 
revenues. They could not help seeing that it claimed 
an origin not short of the Apostles of Christ, and 
took for granted that it was to speak and teach with 
their authority and that of their Master. These were 
theological commonplaces; but now, the pressure of 
events and of competing ideas made them to be felt 
as real and momentous truths. Amid the confusions 
and inconsistencies of the semi-political controversy 
on Church reform, and on the defects and rights of 
the Church, which was going on in Parliament, in 
the press, and in pamphlets, the deeper thoughts of 
those who were interested in its fortunes were turned 
to what was intrinsic and characteristic in its con- 
stitution : and while these thoughts in some instances 
only issued in theory and argument, in others they 
led to practical resolves to act upon them and enforce 

At the end of the first quarter of the century, say 
about 1825-30, two characteristic forms of Church 
of England Christianity were popularly recognised. 
One inherited the traditions of a learned and sober 
Anglicanism, claiming as the authorities for its theology 
the great line of English divines from Hooker to 
Waterland, finding its patterns of devotion in Bishop 
Wilson, Bishop Home, and the " Whole Duty of 
Man," but not forgetful of Andrewes, Jeremy Taylor, 
and Ken, — preaching, without passion or excitement, 


scholarlike, careful, wise, often vigorously reasoned 
discourses on the capital points of faith and morals, 
and exhibiting in its adherents, who were many and 
important, all the varieties of a great and far-descended 
school, which claimed for itself rightful possession of the 
ground which it held. There was nothing effeminate 
about it, as there was nothing fanatical ; there was 
nothing extreme or foolish about it ; it was a manly 
school, distrustful of high-wrought feelings and pro- 
fessions, cultivating self-command and shy of display, 
and setting up as its mark, in contrast to what seemed 
to it sentimental weakness, a reasonable and serious 
idea of duty. The divinity which it propounded, 
though it rested on learning, was rather that of strong 
common sense than of the schools of erudition. Its 
better members were highly cultivated, benevolent 
men, intolerant of irregularities both of doctrine and 
life, whose lives were governed by an unostentatious 
but solid and unfaltering piety, ready to burst forth 
on occasion into fervid devotion. Its worse members 
were jobbers and hunters after preferment, pluralists 
who built fortunes and endowed families out of the 
Church, or country gentlemen in orders, who rode 
to hounds and shot and danced and farmed, and 
often did worse things. Its average was what naturally 
in England would be the average, in a state of things 
in which great religious institutions have been for a long 
time settled and unmolested — kindly, helpful, respect- 
able, sociable persons of good sense and character, 
workers rather in a fashion of routine which no one 


thought of breaking, sometimes keeping up their 
University learning, and apt to employ it in odd and 
not very profitable inquiries ; apt, too, to value them- 
selves on their cheerfulness and quick wit ; but often 
dull and dogmatic and quarrelsome, often insuffer- 
ably pompous. The custom of daily service and 
even of fasting was kept up more widely than is 
commonly supposed. The Eucharist, though spar- 
ingly administered, and though it had been profaned 
by the operation of the Test Acts, was approached 
by religious people with deep reverence. But besides 
the better, and the worse, and the average members 
of this, which called itself the Church party, there 
stood out a number of men of active and original 
minds, who, starting from the traditions of the party, 
were in advance of it in thought and knowledge, or 
in the desire to carry principles into action. At the 
Universities learning was still represented by dis- 
tinguished names. At Oxford, Dr. Routh was still 
living and at work, and Van Mildert was not for- 
gotten. Bishop Lloyd, if he had lived, would have 
played a considerable part ; and a young man of 
vast industry and great Oriental learning, Mr. Pusey, 
was coming on the scene. Davison, in an age which 
had gone mad about the study of prophecy, had 
taught a more intelligent and sober way of regarding 
it ; and Mr. John Miller's Bampton Lectures, now 
probably only remembered by a striking sentence, 
quoted in a note to the Christian Year?- had im- 
1 St. Bartholomew's Day. 


pressed his readers with a deeper sense of the uses 
of Scripture. Cambridge, besides scholars like Bishop 
Kaye, and accomplished writers like Mr. Le Bas and 
Mr. Lyall, could boast of Mr. Hugh James Rose, 
the most eminent person of his generation as a 
divine. But the influence of this learned theology 
was at the time not equal to its value. Sound 
requires atmosphere ; and there was as yet no atmo- 
sphere in the public mind in which the voice of this 
theology could be heard. The person who first gave 
body and force to Church theology, not to be mis- 
taken or ignored, was Dr. Hook. His massive and 
thorough Churchmanship was the independent growth 
of his own thoughts and reading. Resolute, through 
good report and evil report, rough but very generous, 
stern both against Popery and Puritanism, he had 
become a power in the Midlands and the North, and 
first Coventry, then Leeds, were the centres of a new 
influence. He was the apostle of the Church to the 
great middle class. 

These were the orthodox Churchmen, whom their 
rivals, and not their rivals only, 1 denounced as dry, un- 
spiritual, formal, unevangelical, self-righteous ; teachers 
of mere morality at their best, allies and servants of 
the world at their worst. In the party which at this 
time had come to be looked upon popularly as best 
entitled to be the religious party, whether they were 

1 " The mere barren orthodoxy whiclj, from all that I can hear, 
is characteristic of Oxford." Maurice in 1829 {Life, i. 103). In 
1832 he speaks of his " high endeavours to rouse Oxford from its 
lethargy having so signally failed" (i. 143). 


admired as Evangelicals, or abused as Calvinists, or 
laughed at as the Saints, were inheritors not of Anglican 
traditions, but of those which had grown up among 
the zealous clergymen and laymen who had sympa- 
thised with the great Methodist revival, and whose 
theology and life had been profoundly affected by it. 
It was the second or third generation of those whose 
religious ideas had been formed and governed by the 
influence of teachers like Hervey, Romaine, Cecil, 
Venn, Fletcher, Newton, and Thomas Scott. The 
fathers of the Evangelical school were men of natur- 
ally strong and vigorous understandings, robust and 
rugged, and sometimes eccentric, but quite able to 
cope with the controversialists, like Bishop Tomline, 
who attacked them. These High Church contro- 
versialists were too half-hearted and too shallow, and 
understood their own principles too imperfectly, to be 
a match for antagonists who were in deadly earnest, 
and put them to shame by their zeal and courage. 
But Newton and Romaine and the Milners were 
too limited and narrow in their compass of ideas to 
found a powerful theology. They undoubtedly often 
quickened conscience. But their system was a one- 
sided and unnatural one, indeed in the hands of some 
of its expounders threatening morality and soundness 
of character. 1 It had none of the sweep which carried 
the justification doctrines of Luther, or the systematic 
predestinarianism of Calvin, or the " platform of disci- 

1 Abbey and Overton, English Church in the Eighteenth Century, 
ii. 180, 204. 


pline " of John Knox and the Puritans. It had to deal 
with a society which laid stress on what was " reason- 
able," or "polite," or "ingenious," or "genteel," and 
unconsciously it had come to have respect to these 
requirements. The one thing by which its preachers 
carried disciples with them was their undoubted and 
serious piety, and their brave, though often fantastic 
and inconsistent, protest against the world. They 
won consideration and belief by the mild persecution 
which this protest brought on them — by being pro- 
scribed as enthusiasts by comfortable dignitaries, and 
mocked as " Methodists " and " Saints " by wits and 
worldlings. But the austere spirit of Newton and 
Thomas Scott had, between 1820 and 1830, given 
way a good deal to the influence of increasing popu- 
larity. The profession of Evangelical religion had 
been made more than respectable by the adhesion of 
men of position and weight. Preached in the pulpits 
of fashionable chapels, this religion proved to be no 
more exacting than its " High and Dry " rival. It 
gave a gentle stimulus to tempers which required to 
be excited by novelty. It recommended itself by 
gifts of flowing words or high-pitched rhetoric to those 
who expected some demands to be made on them, so 
that these demands were not too strict. Yet Evan- 
gelical religion had not been unfruitful, especially in 
public results. It had led Howard and Elizabeth Fry 
to assail the brutalities of the prisons. It had led 
Clarkson and Wilberforce to overthrow the slave trade, 
and ultimately slavery itself. It had created great 


Missionary Societies. It had given motive and im- 
petus to countless philanthropic schemes. What it 
failed in was the education and development of char- 
acter; and this was the result of the increasing 
meagreness of its writing and preaching. There were 
still Evangelical preachers of force and eloquence — 
Robert Hall, Edward Irving, Chalmers, Jay of Bath 
— but they were not Churchmen. The circle of 
themes dwelt on by this school in the Church was a 
contracted one, and no one had found the way of 
enlarging it. It shrank, in its fear of mere moralising, 
in its horror of the idea of merit or of the value of 
good works, from coming into contact with the mani- 
fold realities of the spirit of man : it never seemed to 
get beyond the " first beginnings " of Christian teach- 
ing, the call to repent, the assurance of forgiveness : 
it had nothing to say to the long and varied process 
of building up the new life of truth and goodness : it 
was nervously afraid of departing from the consecrated 
phrases of its school, and in the perpetual iteration of 
them it lost hold of the meaning they may once have 
had. It too often found its guarantee for faithfulness 
in jealous suspicions, and in fierce bigotries, and at 
length it presented all the characteristics of an ex- 
hausted teaching and a spent enthusiasm. Claiming 
to be exclusively spiritual, fervent, unworldly, the sole 
announcer of the free grace of God amid self-righteous- 
ness and sin, it had come, in fact, to be on very easy 
terms with the world. Yet it kept its hold on numbers 
of spiritually-minded persons, for in truth there seemed 


to be nothing better for those who saw in the affections 
the main field of religion. But even of these good 
men, the monotonous language sounded to all but 
themselves inconceivably hollow and wearisome ; and 
in the hands of the average teachers of the school, 
the idea of religion was becoming poor and thin and 

But besides these two great parties, each of them 
claiming to represent the authentic and unchanging 
mind of the Church, there were independent thinkers 
who took their place with neither and criticised both. 
Paley had still his disciples at Cambridge, or if not 
disciples, yet representatives of his masculine but not 
very profound and reverent way of thinking ; and a 
critical school, represented bynames afterwards famous, 
Connop Thirlwall and Julius Hare, strongly influenced 
by German speculation, both in theology and history, 
began to attract attention. And at Cambridge was 
growing, slowly and out of sight, a mind and an influ- 
ence which were to be at once the counterpart and 
the rival of the Oxford movement, its ally for a short 
moment, and then its earnest and often bitter enemy. 
In spite of the dominant teaching identified with the 
name of Mr. Simeon, Frederic Maurice, with John 
Sterling and other members of the Apostles' Club, 
was feeling for something truer and nobler than the 
conventionalities of the religious world. 1 In Oxford, 
mostly in a different way, more dry, more dialectical, 

1 V. Maurice, Life, i. 108-111; Trench's Letters; Carlyle's 


and, perhaps it may be said, more sober, definite, and 
ambitious of clearness, the same spirit was at work. 
There was a certain drift towards Dissent among 
the warmer spirits. Under the leading of Whately, 
questions were asked about what was supposed to be 
beyond dispute with both Churchmen and Evangeli- 
cals. Current phrases, the keynotes of many a sermon, 
were fearlessly taken to pieces. Men were challenged 
to examine the meaning of their words. They were 
cautioned or ridiculed as the case might be, on the 
score of "confusion of thought" and "inaccuracy of 
mind " ; they were convicted of great logical sins, 
ignoratio elenchi, or u?i distributed middle terms', and 
bold theories began to make their appearance about 
religious principles and teaching, which did not easily 
accommodate themselves to popular conceptions. In 
very different ways and degrees, Davison, Copleston, 
Whately, Hawkins, Milman, and not least, a brilliant 
naturalised Spaniard who sowed the seeds of doubt 
around him, Blanco White, had broken through a 
number of accepted opinions, and had presented some 
startling ideas to men who had thought that all reli- 
gious questions lay between the orthodoxy of Lambeth 
and the orthodoxy of Clapham and Islington. And 
thus the foundation was laid, at least, at Oxford of 
what was then called the Liberal School of Theology. 
Its theories and paradoxes, then commonly associated 
with the "Noetic" character of one college, Oriel, were 
thought startling and venturesome when discussed in 
steady-going common-rooms and country parsonages ; 


but they were still cautious and old-fashioned com- 
pared with what was to come after them. The distance 
is indeed great between those early disturbers of lecture- 
rooms and University pulpits, and their successors. 

While this was going on within the Church, there 
was a great movement of thought going on in the 
country. It was the time w T hen Bentham's utilitari- 
anism had at length made its way into prominence 
and importance. It had gained a hold on a number 
of powerful minds in society and political life. It was 
threatening to become the dominant and popular 
philosophy. It began, in some ways beneficially, to 
affect and even control legislation. It made desperate 
attempts to take possession of the whole province of 
morals. It forced those who saw through its mischief, 
who hated and feared it, to seek a reason, and a solid 
and strong one, for the faith which was in them as to 
the reality of conscience and the mysterious distinction 
between right and wrong. And it entered into a close 
alliance with science, which was beginning to assert its 
claims, since then risen so high, to a new and unde- 
fined supremacy, not only in the general concerns of 
the world, but specially in education. It was the day 
of Holland House. It was the time when a Society 
of which Lord Brougham was the soul, and which 
comprised a great number of important political and 
important scientific names, was definitely formed for 
the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Their labours are 
hardly remembered now in the great changes for which 
they paved the way ; but the Society was the means 


of getting written and of publishing at a cheap rate a 
number of original and excellent books on science, 
biography, and history. It was the time of the Library 
of Useful Knowledge, and its companion, the Library 
of Entertaining Knowledge ; of the Penny Magazine, 
and its Church rival, the Saturday Magazine, of the 
Penny Cyclopaedia, and Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia, 
and Murray s Family Library : popular series, which 
contained much of the work of the ablest men of the 
day, and which, though for the most part superseded 
now, were full of interest then. Another creation of 
this epoch, and an unmistakable indication of its 
tendencies, was the British Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science, which met for the first time at 
Oxford in June 1832, not without a good deal of 
jealousy and misgiving, partly unreasonable, partly not 
unfounded, among men in whose hearts the cause and 
fortunes of religion were supreme. 

Thus the time was ripe for great collisions of prin- 
ciples and ' aims ; for the decomposition of elements 
which had been hitherto united ; for sifting them out 
of their old combinations, and regrouping them accord- 
ing to their more natural affinities. It was a time for 
the formation and development of unexpected novelties 
in teaching and practical effort. There w r as a great 
historic Church party, imperfectly conscious of its 
position and responsibilities ; l there was an active 

1 "In what concerns the Established Church, the House of 
Commons seems to feel no other principle than that of vulgar 
policy. The old High Church race is worn out." Alex. Knox 
(June 1816), i. 54. 


but declining pietistic school, resting on a feeble intel- 
lectual basis and narrow and meagre interpretations 
of Scripture, and strong only in its circle of philan- 
thropic work ; there was, confronting both, a rising 
body of inquisitive and, in some ways, menacing 
thought. To men deeply interested in religion, the 
ground seemed confused and treacherous. There 
was room, and there was a call, for new effort ; but 
to find the resources for it, it seemed necessary to 
cut down deep below the level of what even good 
men accepted as the adequate expression of Christian- 
ity, and its fit application to the conditions of the 
nineteenth century. It came to pass that there were 
men who had the heart to make this attempt. As 
was said at starting, the actual movement began in 
the conviction that a great and sudden danger to the 
Church was at hand, and that an unusual effort must 
be made to meet it. But if the occasion was in a 
measure accidental, there was nothing haphazard or 
tentative in the line chosen to encounter the danger 
From the first it was deliberately and distinctly taken. 
The choice of it was the result of convictions which 
had been forming before the occasion came which 
called on them. The religious ideas which governed 
the minds of those who led the movement had been 
traced, in outline at least, firmly and without faltering. 
The movement had its spring in the consciences 
and character of its leaders. To these men religion 
really meant the most awful and most seriously per- 
sonal thing on earth. It had not only a theological 


basis ; it had still more deeply a moral one. What 
that basis was is shown in a variety of indications 
of ethical temper and habits, before the movement, 
in those who afterwards directed it. The Christian 
Year was published in 1827, and tells us distinctly by 
what kind of standard Mr. Keble moulded his judg- 
ment and aims. What Mr. Keble's influence and 
teaching did, in training an apt pupil to deep and 
severe views of truth and duty, is to be seen in the 
records of purpose and self-discipline, often so painful, 
but always so lofty and sincere, of Mr. Hurrell Froude's 
journal. But these indications are most forcibly given 
in Mr. Newman's earliest preaching. As tutor at Oriel, 
Mr. Newman had made what efforts he could, some- 
times disturbing to the authorities, to raise the standard 
of conduct and feeling among his pupils. When he 
became a parish priest, his preaching took a singularly 
practical and plain-spoken character. The first sermon 
of the series, a typical sermon, " Holiness necessary 
for future Blessedness," a sermon which has made 
many readers grave when they laid it down, was 
written in 1826, before he came to St. Mary's; and 
as he began he continued. No sermons, except those 
which his great opposite, Dr. Arnold, was preaching 
at Rugby, had appealed to conscience with such 
directness and force. A passionate and sustained 
earnestness after a high moral rule, seriously realised 
in conduct, is the dominant character of these ser- 
mons. They showed the strong reaction against 
slackness of fibre in the religious life ; against the 


poverty, softness, restlessness, worldliness, the blunted 
and impaired sense of truth, which reigned with little 
check in the recognised fashions of professing Christian- 
ity ; the want of depth both of thought and feeling ; 
the strange blindness to the real sternness, nay the 
austerity, of the New Testament. Out of this ground 
the movement grew. Even more than a theological 
reform, it was a protest against the loose unreality of 
ordinary religious morality. In the first stage of the 
movement, moral earnestness and enthusiasm gave its 
impulse to theological interest and zeal. 



Long before the Oxford movement was thought of, or 
had any definite shape, a number of its characteristic 
principles and ideas had taken strong hold of the 
mind of a man of great ability and great seriousness, 
who, after a brilliant career at Oxford as student and 
tutor, had exchanged the University for a humble 
country cure. John Keble, by some years the senior, 
but the college friend and intimate of Arnold, was the 
son of a Gloucestershire country clergyman of strong 
character and considerable scholarship. He taught 
and educated his two sons at home, and then sent 
them to Oxford, where both of them made their mark, 
and the elder, John, a mere boy when he first appeared 
at his college, Corpus, carried off almost everything 
that the University could give in the way of dis- 
tinction. He won a double first ; he won the Latin 
and English Essays in the same year ; and he won 
what was the still greater honour of an Oriel Fellow- 
ship. His honours were borne with meekness and 


simplicity ; to his attainments he joined a temper of 
singular sweetness and modesty, capable at the same 
time, when necessary, of austere strength and strict- 
ness of principle. He had become one of the most 
distinguished men in Oxford, when about the year 
1823 he felt himself bound to give himself more 
exclusively to the work of a clergyman, and left 
Oxford to be his father's curate. There was nothing 
very unusual in his way of life, or singular and showy 
in his work as a clergyman ; he went in and out 
among the poor, he was not averse to society, he 
preached plain, unpretending, earnest sermons ; he 
kept up his literary interests. But he was a deeply 
convinced Churchman, finding his standard and pat- 
tern of doctrine and devotion in the sober earnestness 
and dignity of the Prayer Book, and looking with 
great and intelligent dislike at the teaching and 
practical working of the more popular system which, 
under the name of Evangelical Christianity, was aspir- 
ing to dominate religious opinion, and which, often 
combining some of the most questionable features of 
Methodism and Calvinism, denounced with fierce 
intolerance everything that deviated from its formulas 
and watchwords. And as his loyalty to the Church 
of England was profound and intense, all who had 
shared her fortunes, good or bad, or who professed 
to serve her, had a place in his affections ; and any 
policy which threatened to injure or oppress her, and 
any principles which were hostile to her influence and 
teaching, roused his indignation and resistance. He 


was a strong Tory, and by conviction and religious 
temper a thorough High Churchman. 

But there was nothing in him to foreshadow the 
leader in a bold and wide-reaching movement. He 
was absolutely without ambition. He hated show and 
mistrusted excitement. The thought of preferment 
was steadily put aside both from temper and definite 
principle. He had no popular aptitudes, and was very 
suspicious of them. He had no care for the possession 
of influence ; he had deliberately chosen the falkntis 
semita vitce^ and to be what his father had been, a 
faithful and contented country parson, was all that he 
desired. But idleness was not in his nature. Born a 
poet, steeped in all Jhat is noblest and tenderest and 
most beautiful in Greek and Roman literature, with 
the keenest sympathy with that new school of poetry 
which, with Wordsworth as its representative, was 
searching out the deeper relations between nature and 
the human soul, he found in poetical composition a 
vent and relief for feelings stirred by the marvels of 
glory and of awfulness, and by the sorrows and bless- 
ings, amid which human life is passed. But his poetry 
was for a long time only for himself and his intimate 
friends ; his indulgence in poetical composition was 
partly playful, and it was not till after much hesitation 
on his own part and also on theirs, and with a contempt- 
uous undervaluing of his work, which continued to 
the end of his life, that the anonymous little book of 
poems was published which has since become familiar 
wherever English is read, as the Christian Year. His 


serious interests were public ones. Though living in 
the shade, he followed with anxiety and increasing 
disquiet the changes which went on so rapidly and so 
formidably, during the end of the first quarter of this 
century, in opinion and in the possession of political 
power. It became more and more plain that great 
changes were at hand, though not so plain what they 
would be. It seemed likely that power would come 
into the hands of men and parties hostile to the Church 
in their principles, and ready to use to its prejudice the 
advantages which its position as an establishment gave 
them ; and the anticipation grew in Keble's mind, that 
in the struggles which seemed likely, not only for the 
legal rights but for the faith of the Church, the Church 
might have both to claim more, and to suffer more, at 
the hands of Government. Yet though these thoughts 
filled his mind, and strong things were said in the 
intercourse with friends about what was going on about 
them, no definite course of action had been even con- 
templated when Keble went into the country in 1823. 
There was nothing to distinguish him from numbers 
of able clergymen all over England, who were looking 
on with interest, with anxiety, often with indignation, 
at what was going on. Mr. Keble had not many 
friends and was no party chief. He was a brilliant 
university scholar overlaying the plain, unworldly 
country parson; an old-fashioned English Churchman, 
with great veneration for the Church and its bishops, 
and a great dislike of Rome, Dissent, and Methodism, 
but with a quick heart ; with a frank, gay humility 


of soul, with great contempt of appearances, great 
enjoyment of nature, great unselfishness, strict and 
severe principles of morals and duty. 

What was it that turned him by degrees into so 
prominent and so influential a person ? It was the 
result of the action of his convictions and ideas, and 
still more of his character, on the energetic and fear- 
less mind of a pupil and disciple, Richard Hurrell 
Froude. Froude was Keble's pupil at Oriel, and 
when Keble left Oriel for his curacy at the beginning 
of the Long Vacation of 1823, he took Froude with 
him to read for his degree. He took with him ulti- 
mately two other pupils, Robert Wilberforce and Isaac 
Williams of Trinity. One of them, Isaac Williams, 
has left some reminiscences of the time, and of the 
terms on which the young men were with their tutor, 
then one of the most famous men at Oxford. They 
were on terms of the utmost freedom. " Master is the 
greatest boy of them all," was the judgment of the 
rustic who was gardener, groom, and parish clerk to 
Mr. Keble. Froude's was a keen logical mind, not 
easily satisfied, contemptuous of compromises and 
evasions, and disposed on occasion to be mischievous 
and aggressive ; and with Keble, as with anybody 
else, he was ready to dispute and try every form of 
dialectical experiment. But he was open to higher 
influences than those of logic, and in Keble he saw 
what subdued and won him to boundless veneration 
and affection. Keble won the love of the whole little 
society ; but in Froude he had gained a disciple who 


was to be the mouthpiece and champion of his ideas, 
and who was to react on himself and carry him forward 
to larger enterprises and bolder resolutions than by 
himself he would have thought of. Froude took in 
from Keble all he had to communicate — principles, 
convictions, moral rules and standards of life, hopes, 
fears, antipathies. And his keenly-tempered intellect, 
and his determination and high courage, gave a point 
and an impulse of their own to Keble's views and 
purposes. As things came to look darker, and 
dangers seemed more serious to the Church, its faith 
or its rights, the interchange of thought between 
master and disciple, in talk and in letter, pointed 
more and more to the coming necessity of action ; and 
Froude at least had no objections to the business 
of an agitator. But all this was very gradual \ things 
did not yet go beyond discussion ; ideas, views, argu- 
ments were examined and compared ; and Froude, 
with all his dash, felt as Keble felt, that he had much 
to learn about himself, as well as about books and 
things. In his respect for antiquity, in his dislike 
of the novelties which were invading Church rules 
and sentiments, as well as its creeds, in his jealousy 
of the State, as well as in his seriousness of self- 
discipline, he accepted Keble's guidance and influence 
more and more ; and from Keble he had more than 
one lesson of self-distrust, more than one warning 
against the temptations of intellect. " Froude told me 
many years after," writes one of his friends, "that 
Keble once, before parting with him, seemed to have 


something on his mind which he wished to say, but 
shrank from saying, while waiting, I think, for a coach. 
At last he said, just before parting, ' Froude, you 
thought Law's Serious Call was a clever book ; it 
seemed to me as if you had said the Day of Judgment 
will be a pretty sight.' This speech, Froude told me, 
had a great effect on his after life." 1 

At Easter 1826 Froude was elected Fellow of 
Oriel. He came back to Oxford, charged with Keble's 
thoughts and feelings, and from his more eager and 
impatient temper, more on the look-out for ways of 
giving them effect. The next year he became tutor, 
and he held the tutorship till 1830. But he found at 
Oriel a colleague, a little his senior in age and stand- 
ing, of whom Froude and his friends as yet knew little 
except that he was a man of great ability, that he had 
been a favourite of Whately's, and that in a loose and 
rough way he was counted among the few Liberals 
and Evangelicals in Oxford. This was Mr. Newman. 
Keble had been shy of him, and Froude would at first 
judge him by Keble's standard. But Newman was 
just at this time " moving," as he expresses it, "out of 
the shadow of Liberalism." Living not apart like 
Keble, but in the same college, and meeting every 
day, Froude and Newman could not but be either 
strongly and permanently repelled, or strongly attracted. 
They were attracted ; attracted with a force which at 
last united them in the deepest and most unreserved 
friendship. Of the steps of this great change in the 

1 Isaac Williams's MS. Memoir. 


mind and fortunes of each of them we have no record : 
intimacies of this kind grow in college out of unnoticed 
and unremembered talks, agreeing or differing, out of 
unconscious disclosures of temper and purpose, out of 
walks and rides and quiet breakfasts and common- 
room arguments, out of admirations and dislikes, out of 
letters and criticisms and questions ; and nobody can 
tell afterwards how they have come about. The 
change was gradual and deliberate. Froude's friends 
in Gloucestershire, the Keble family, had their mis- 
givings about Newman's supposed liberalism ; they did 
not much want to have to do with him. His subtle 
and speculative temper did not always square with 
Froude's theology. " N. is a fellow that I like more, 
the more I think of him," Froude wrote in 1828; 
"only I would give a few odd pence if he were not a 
heretic." 1 But Froude, who saw him every day, and 
was soon associated with him in the tutorship, found 
a spirit more akin to his own in depth and freedom 
and daring, than he had yet encountered. And 
Froude found Newman just in that maturing state 
of religious opinion in which a powerful mind like 
Froude's would be likely to act decisively. Each 
acted on the other. Froude represented Keble's 
ideas, Keble's enthusiasm. Newman gave shape, 
foundation, consistency, elevation to the Anglican 
theology, when he accepted it, which Froude had 
learned from Keble. " I knew him first," we read in 

1 Rem. i. 232, 233. In 1828, Newman had preferred Hawkins 
ro Keble, for Provost. 


the Apologia^ "in 1826, and was in the closest and 
most affectionate friendship with him from about 1829 
till his death in 1836." x But this was not all. 
Through Froude, Newman came to know and to 
be intimate with Keble ; and a sort of camaraderie 
arose, of very independent and outspoken people, who 
acknowledged Keble as their master and counsellor. 

" The true and primary author of it " (the Tract- 
arian movement), we read in the Apologia, " as is 
usual with great motive powers, was out of sight. . . . 
Need I say that I am speaking of John Keble ? " The 
statement is strictly true. Froude never would have 
been the man he was but for his daily and hourly 
intercourse with Keble ; and Froude brought to bear 
upon Newman's mind, at a critical period of its de- 
velopment, Keble's ideas and feelings about religion 
and the Church, Keble's reality of thought and pur- 
pose, Keble's transparent and saintly simplicity. And 
Froude, as we know from a well-known saying of his, 2 
brought Keble and Newman to understand one another, 
when the elder man was shy and suspicious of the 
younger, and the younger, though full of veneration 
for the elder, was hardly yet in full sympathy with 
what was most characteristic and most cherished in 
the elder's religious convictions. Keble attracted and 
moulded Froude : he impressed Froude with his strong 

1 Apol. p. 84. 

- Remains, i. 438 ; Apol. p. 77. " Do you know the stoiy of 
the murderer who had done one good thing in his life? Well, if 
I was asked what good deed I have ever done, I should say 1 had 
brought Keble and Newman to understand each other." 


Churchmanship, his severity and reality of life, his 
poetry and high standard of scholarly excellence. 
Froude learned from him to be anti-Erastian, anti- 
methodistical, anti-sentimental, and as strong in his 
hatred of the world, as contemptuous of popular ap- 
proval, as any Methodist. Yet all this might merely 
have made a strong impression, or formed one more 
marked school of doctrine, without the fierce energy 
which received it and which it inspired. But Froude, 
in accepting Keble's ideas, resolved to make them 
active, public, aggressive; and he found in Newman 
a colleague whose bold originality responded to his 
own. Together they worked as tutors ; together they 
worked when their tutorships came to an end; together 
they worked when thrown into companionship in their 
Mediterranean voyage in the winter of 1832 and the 
spring of 1833. They came back, full of aspirations 
and anxieties which spurred them on ; their thoughts 
had broken out in papers sent home from time to 
time to Rose's British Magazine — " Home Thoughts 
Abroad," and the "Lyra Apostolica." Then came 
the meeting at Hadleigh, and the beginning of the 
Tracts. Keble had given the inspiration, Froude had 
given the impulse ; then Newman took up the work, 
and the impulse henceforward, and the direction, were 

Doubtless, many thought and felt like them about 
the perils which beset the Church and religion. 
Loyalty to the Church, belief in her divine mission, 
allegiance to her authority, readiness to do battle for 


her claims, were anything but extinct in her ministers 
and laity. The elements were all about of sound and 
devoted Churchmanship. Higher ideas of the Church 
than the popular and political notion of it, higher con- 
ceptions of Christian doctrine than those of the ordinary 
evangelical theology — echoes of the meditations of a 
remarkable Irishman, Mr. Alexander Knox — had in 
many quarters attracted attention in the works and 
sermons of his disciple, Bishop Jebb, though it was not 
till the movement had taken shape that their full 
significance was realised. Others besides Keble and 
Froude and Newman were seriously considering what 
could best be done to arrest the current which was 
running strong against the Church, and discussing 
schemes of resistance and defence. Others were 
stirring up themselves and their brethren to meet the 
new emergencies, to respond to the new call. Some 
of these were in communication with the Oriel men, 
and ultimately took part with them in organising 
vigorous measures. But it was not till Mr. Newman 
made up his mind to force on the public mind, in a 
way which could not be evaded, the great article of 
the Creed — "I believe one Catholic and Apostolic 
Church " — that the movement began. And for the 
first part of its course, it was concentrated at Oxford. 
It was the direct result of the searchings of heart and 
the communings for seven years, from 1826 to 1833, 
of the three men who have been the subject of this 



The names of those who took the lead in this move- 
ment are familiar — Keble, Newman, Pusey, Hugh 
James Rose, William Palmer. Much has been written 
about them by friends and enemies, and also by one 
of themselves, and any special notice of them is not 
to the purpose of the present narrative. But besides 
these, there were men who are now almost forgotten, 
but who at the time interested their contemporaries, 
because they were supposed to represent in a marked 
way the spirit and character of the movement, or to 
have exercised influence upon it. They ought not to 
be overlooked in an account of it. One of them has 
been already mentioned, Mr. Hurrell Froude. Two 
others were Mr. Isaac Williams and Mr. Charles 
Marriott. They were all three of them men whom 
those who knew them could never forget — could never 
cease to admire and love. 

1 I ought to say that I was not personally acquainted with Mr. 
Froude. I have subjoined to this chapter some recollections of 
him by Lord Blachford, who was his pupil and an intimate friend. 


Hurrell Froude soon passed away before the brunt 
of the fighting came. His name is associated with 
Mr. Newman and Mr. Keble, but it is little more 
than a name to those who now talk of the origin of 
the movement. Yet all who remember him agree in 
assigning to him an importance as great as that of any, 
in that little knot of men whose thoughts and whose 
courage gave birth to it. 

Richard Hurrell Froude was born in 1803, and was 
thus two years younger than Mr. Newman, who was 
born in 1801. He went to Eton, and in 1821 to Oriel, 
where he was a pupil of Mr. Keble, and where he was 
elected Fellow, along with Robert Wilberforce, at 
Easter 1826. He was College Tutor from 1827 to 
1830, having Mr. Newman and R. Wilberforce for 
colleagues. His health failed in 1831 and led to much 
absence in warm climates. He went with Mr. New- 
man to the south of Europe in 1832-33, and was with 
him at Rome. The next two winters, with the inter- 
vening year, he spent in the West Indies. Early in 
1836 he died at Dartington — his birthplace. He 
was at the Hadleigh meeting, in July 1833, when the 
foundations of the movement were laid ; he went 
abroad that winter, and was not much in England 
afterwards. It was through correspondence that he 
kept up his intercourse with his friends. 

Thus he was early cut off from direct and personal 
action on the course which things took. But it would 
be a great mistake to suppose that his influence on the 
line taken and on the minds of others was inconsider- 


able. It would be more true to say that with one 
exception no one was more responsible for the impulse 
which led to the movement ; no one had more to do 
with shaping its distinct aims and its moral spirit and 
character in its first stage ; no one was more daring 
and more clear, as far as he saw, in what he was pre- 
pared for. There was no one to whom his friends so 
much looked up with admiration and enthusiasm. 
There was no " wasted shade " 1 in Hurrell Froude's 
disabled, prematurely shortened life. 

Like Henry Martyn he was made by strong and 
even merciless self-discipline over a strong and for a 
long time refractory nature. He was a man of great 
gifts, with much that was most attractive and noble ; 
but joined with this there was originally in his char- 
acter a vein of perversity and mischief, always in 
danger of breaking out, and with which he kept up a 
long and painful struggle. His inmost thought and 
knowledge of himself have been laid bare in the papers 
which his friends published after his death. He was 
in the habit of probing his motives to the bottom, 
and of recording without mercy what he thought his 
self-deceits and affectations. The religious world of 
the day made merry over his methods of self-disci- 
pline ; but whatever may be said of them, and such 
things are not easy to judge of, one thing is manifest, 
that they were true and sincere efforts to conquer what 

1 "In this mortal journeying wasted shade 
Is worse than wasted sunshine." 

Henry Taylor, Sicilian Summer, v. 3. 


he thought evil in himself, to keep himself in order, 
to bring his inmost self into subjection to the law and 
will of God. The self-chastening, which his private 
papers show, is no passion or value for asceticism, but 
a purely moral effort after self-command and honesty 
of character ; and what makes the struggle so touching 
is its perfect reality and truth. He "turned his thoughts 
on that desolate wilderness, his own conscience, and 
said what he saw there." l A man who has had a 
good deal to conquer in himself, and has gone a good 
way to conquer it, is not apt to be indulgent to self- 
deceit or indolence, or even weakness. The basis of 
Froude's character was a demand which would not be 
put off for what was real and thorough ; an implacable 
scorn and hatred for what he counted shams and pre- 
tences. "His highest ambition," he used to say, "was 
to be a humdrum." 2 The intellectual and the moral 
parts of his character were of a piece. The tricks and 
flimsinesses of a bad argument provoked him as much 
as the imposture and " flash " of insincere sentiment 
and fine talking; he might be conscious of "flash" in 
himself and his friends, and he would admit it un- 
equivocally ; but it was as unbearable to him to pretend 
not to see a fallacy as soon as it was detected, as it 
would have been to him to arrive at the right answer 
of a sum or a problem by tampering with the pro- 
cesses. Such a man, with strong affections and keen 
perception of all forms of beauty, and with the deepest 
desire to be reverent towards all that had a right to 
1 Remains, Second Part, i. 47. 2 Remains, i. 82. 


reverence, would find himself in the most irritating 
state of opposition and impatience with much that 
passed as religion round him. Principles not at- 
tempted to be understood and carried into practice, 
smooth self-complacency among those who looked 
down on a blind and unspiritual world, the continual 
provocation of worthless reasoning and ignorant plati- 
tudes, the dull unconscious stupidity of people who 
could not see that the times were critical — that truth 
had to be defended, and that it was no easy or light- 
hearted business to defend it — threw him into an 
habitual attitude of defiance, and half-amused, half- 
earnest contradiction, which made him feared by 
loose reasoners and pretentious talkers, and even by 
quiet easy-going friends, who unexpectedly found 
themselves led on blindfold, with the utmost gravity, 
into traps and absurdities by the wiles of his mis- 
chievous dialectic. This was the outside look of his 
relentless earnestness. People who did not like him, 
or his views, and who, perhaps, had winced under 
his irony, naturally put down his strong language, 
which on occasion could certainly be unceremonious, 
to flippancy and arrogance. But within the circle of 
those whom he trusted, or of those who needed at 
any time his help, another side disclosed itself — a side 
of the most genuine warmth of affection, an awful 
reality of devoutness, which it was his great and 
habitual effort to keep hidden, a high simplicity of 
unworldliness and generosity, and in spite of his 
daring mockeries of what was commonplace or showy, 


the most sincere and deeply felt humility with himself. 
Dangerous as he was often thought to be in conversa- 
tion, one of the features of his character which has 
impressed itself on the memory of one who knew him 
well, was his " patient, winning considerateness in dis- 
cussion, which, with other qualities, endeared him to 
those to whom he opened his heart." 1 " It is impos- 
sible," writes James Mozley in 1833, with a mixture 
of amusement, speaking of the views about celibacy 
which were beginning to be current, "to talk with 
Froude without committing one's self on such subjects 
as these, so that by and by I expect the tergiversants 
will be a considerable party." His letters, with their 
affectionately playful addresses, Saifiovce, alvorare, 
7r67rov, Carissime, "Sir, my dear friend" or "'Apyelcov 
6^ apicrre, have you not been a spoon ? " are full of 
the most delightful ease and verve and sympathy. 

With a keen sense of English faults he was, as 
Cardinal Newman has said, "an Englishman to the 
backbone"; and he was, further, a fastidious, high- 
tempered English gentleman, in spite of his declaiming 
about "pampered aristocrats" and the "gentleman 
heresy." His friends thought of him as of the "young 
Achilles," with his high courage, and noble form, and 
"eagle eye," made for such great things, but appointed 
so soon to die. " Who can refrain from tears at the 
thought of that bright and beautiful Froude ? " is the 
expression of one of them shortly before his death, and 
when it was quite certain that the doom which had so 

1 Apologia, p. 84. 


long hung over him was at hand. 1 He had the love 
of doing, for the mere sake of doing, what was difficult 
or even dangerous to do, which is the mainspring of 
characteristic English sports and games. He loved 
the sea ; he liked to sail his own boat, and enjoyed 
rough weather, and took interest in the niceties of 
seamanship and shipcraft. He was a bold rider across 
country. With a powerful grasp on mathematical 
truths and principles, he entered with whole-hearted 
zest into inviting problems, or into practical details 

1 The following shows the feeling about him in friends apt to be 
severe critics : — " The contents of the present collection are rather 
fragments and sketches than complete compositions. This might 
be expected in the works of a man whose days were few and inter- 
rupted by illness, if indeed that may be called an interruption, 
which was every day sensibly drawing him to his grave. In Mr. 
Froude's case, however, we cannot set down much of this incom- 
pleteness to the score of illness. The strength of his religious 
impressions, the boldness and clearness of his views, his long habits 
of self-denial, and his unconquerable energy of mind, triumphed 
over weakness and decay, till men with all their health and strength 
about them might gaze upon his attenuated form, struck with a 
certain awe of wonderment at the brightness of his wit, the intense- 
ness of his mental vision, and the iron strength of his argument. 
. . . We will venture a remark as to that ironical turn, which 
certainly does appear in various shapes in the first part of these 
Remains. Unpleasant as irony may sometimes be, there need not 
go with it, and in this instance there did not go with it, the smallest 
real asperity of temper. Who that remembers the inexpressible 
sweetness of his smile, and the deep and melancholy pity with 
which he would speak of those whom he felt to be the victims of 
modern delusions, would not be forward to contradict such a 
suspicion? Such expressions, we will venture to say, and not 
harshness, anger, or gloom, animate the features of that counten- 
ance which will never cease to haunt the memory of those who 
knew him. His irony arose from that peculiar mode in which he 
viewed all earthly things, himself and all that was dear to him 
not excepted. It was his poetry." From an article in the British 
Critic, April 1840, p. 396, by Mr. Thomas Mozley, quoted in 
Letters of J. B, Mozley, p. 102. 


of mechanical or hydrostatic or astronomical science. 
His letters are full of such observations, put in a 
way which he thought would interest his friends, and 
marked by his strong habit of getting into touch with 
what was real and of the substance of questions. He 
applied his thoughts to architecture with a power and 
originality which at the time were not common. Xo 
one who only cared for this world could be more 
attracted and interested than he was by the wonder 
and beauty of its facts and appearances. AYith the 
deepest allegiance to his home and reverence for its 
ties and authority, a home of the old-fashioned eccle- 
siastical sort, sober, manly, religious, orderly, he carried 
into his wider life the feelings with which he had been 
brought up ; bold as he was, his reason and his 
character craved for authority, but authority which 
morally and reasonably he could respect. Mr. Keble's 
goodness and purity subdued him, and disposed him 
to accept without reserve his master's teaching : and 
towards Mr. Keble, along with an outside show of 
playful criticism and privileged impertinence, there 
was a reverence which governed Froude's whole 
nature. In the wild and rough heyday of reform, he 
was a Tory of the Tories. But when authority failed 
him, from cowardice or stupidity or self-interest, he 
could not easily pardon it , and he was ready to startle 
his friends by proclaiming himself a Radical, prepared 
for the sake of the highest and greatest interests to 
sacrifice all second-rate and subordinate ones. 

When his friends, after his death, published selec- 


tions from his journals and letters, the world was 
shocked by what seemed his amazing audacity both of 
thought and expression about a number of things and 
persons which it was customary to regard as almost 
beyond the reach of criticism. The Remains lent 
themselves admirably to the controversial process of 
culling choice phrases and sentences and epithets 
surprisingly at variance with conventional and popular 
estimates. Friends were pained and disturbed ; foes 
naturally enough could not hold in their overflowing 
exultation at such a disclosure of the spirit of the 
movement. Sermons and newspapers drew attention 
to Froude's extravagances with horror and disgust. 
The truth is that if the off-hand sayings in conversation 
or letters of any man of force and wit and strong 
convictions about the things and persons that he con- 
demns, were made known to the world, they would by 
themselves have much the same look of flippancy, 
injustice, impertinence to those who disagreed in 
opinion with the speaker or writer ; they are allowed 
for, or they are not allowed for by others, according to 
what is known of his general character. The friends 
who published Froude's Remains knew what he was ; 
they knew the place and proportion of the fierce 
and scornful passages ; they knew that they really did 
not go beyond the liberty and the frank speaking 
which most people give themselves in the abandon and 
understood exaggeration of intimate correspondence 
and talk. But they miscalculated the effect on those 
who did not know him, or whose interest it was to 


make the most of the advantage given them. They 
seem to have expected that the picture which they 
presented of their friend's transparent sincerity and 
singleness of aim, manifested amid so much pain 
and self-abasement, would have touched readers more. 
They miscalculated in supposing that the proofs of so 
much reality of religious earnestness would carry off 
the offence of vehement language, which without these 
proofs might naturally be thought to show mere 
random violence. At any rate the result was much 
natural and genuine irritation, which they were hardly 
prepared for. Whether on general grounds they were 
wise in startling and vexing friends, and putting fresh 
weapons into the hands of opponents by their frank 
disclosure of so unconventional a character, is a ques- 
tion which may have more than one answer; but 
one thing is certain, they were not wise, if they only 
desired to forward the immediate interests of their 
party or cause. It was not the act of cunning con- 
spirators ; it was the act of men who were ready to 
show their hands, and take the consequences. Un- 
doubtedly, they warned off many who had so far 
gone along with the movement, and who now drew 
back. But if the publication was a mistake, it 
was the mistake of men confident in their own straight- 

There is a natural Nemesis to all over-strong and 
exaggerated language. The weight of Froude's judg- 
ments was lessened by the disclosure of his strong 
words, and his dashing fashion of condemnation and 


dislike gave a precedent for the violence of shallower 
men. But to those who look back on them now, 
though there can be no wonder that at the time 
they excited such an outcry, their outspoken boldness 
hardly excites surprise. Much of it might naturally 
be put down to the force of first impressions ; much 
of it is the vehemence of an Englishman who claims 
the liberty of criticising and finding fault at home; 
much of it was the inevitable vehemence of a reformer. 
Much of it seems clear foresight of what has since come 
to be recognised. His judgments on the Reformers, 
startling as they were at the time, are not so very 
different, as to the facts of the case, from what most 
people on all sides now agree in; and as to their 
temper and theology, from what most churchmen 
would now agree in. Whatever allowances may be 
made for the difficulties of their time, and these 
allowances ought to be very great, and however well 
they may have done parts of their work, such as the 
translations and adaptations of the Prayer Book, it is 
safe to say that the divines of the Reformation never 
can be again, with their confessed Calvinism, with 
their shifting opinions, their extravagant deference to 
the foreign oracles of Geneva and Zurich, their sub- 
servience to bad men in power, the heroes and saints 
of churchmen. But when all this is said, it still 
remains true that Froude was often intemperate and 
unjust. In the hands of the most self-restrained and 
considerate of its leaders, the movement must anyhow 
have provoked strong opposition, and given great 


offence. The surprise and the general ignorance 
were too great ; the assault was too rude and un- 
expected. But Froude's strong language gave it a 
needless exasperation. 

Froude was a man strong in abstract thought and 
imagination, who wanted adequate knowledge. His 
canons of judgment were not enlarged, corrected, and 
strengthened by any reading or experience commen- 
surate with his original powers of reasoning or inven- 
tion. He was quite conscious of it, and did his best 
to fill up the gap in his intellectual equipment. He 
showed what he might have done under more favour- 
ing circumstances in a very interesting volume on 
Becket's history and letters. But circumstances were 
hopelessly against him ; he had not time, he had not 
health and strength, for the learning which he so 
needed, which he so longed for. But wherever he 
could, he learned. He was quite ready to submit 
his prepossessions to the test and limitation of facts. 
Eager and quick-sighted, he was often apt to be hasty 
in conclusions from imperfect or insufficient premisses; 
but even about what he saw most clearly he was 
willing to hold himself in suspense, when he found 
that there was something more to know. Cardinal 
Newman has noted two deficiencies which, in his 
opinion, were noticeable in Froude. " He had no 
turn for theology as such " ; and, further, he goes on : 
" I should say that his power of entering into the 
minds of others was not equal to his other gifts " — a 
remark which he illustrates by saying that Froude 


could not believe that " I really held the Roman 
Church to be antichristian." The want of this power 
— in which he stood in such sharp contrast to his 
friend — might be either a strength or a weakness ; a 
strength, if his business was only to fight ; a weakness, 
if it was to attract and persuade. But Froude was 
made for conflict, not to win disciples. Some wild 
solemn poetry, marked by deep feeling and direct 
expression, is scattered through his letters, 1 kindled 
always by things and thoughts of the highest signifi- 
cance, and breaking forth with force and fire. But 
probably the judgment passed on him by a clever 
friend, from the examination of his handwriting, was 
a true one : " This fellow has a great deal of imagina- 
tion, but not the imagination of a poet." He felt that 
even beyond poetry there are higher things than any- 
thing that imagination can work upon. It was a feeling 
which made him blind to the grandeur of Milton's 
poetry. He saw in it only an intrusion into the most 
sacred of sanctities. 

It was this fearless and powerful spirit, keen and 
quick to see inferences and intolerant of compro- 
mises, that the disturbances of Roman Catholic 
Emancipation and of the Reform time roused from 
the common round of pursuits, natural to a serious 
and thoughtful clergyman of scholarlike mind and as 
yet no definite objects, and brought him with all his 

1 Such as the " Daniel " in the Lyra Apostolica, the " Dialogue 
between Old Self and New Self," and the lines in the Remains (i. 
208, 209). 


enthusiasm and thoroughness into a companionship 
with men who had devoted their lives, and given up 
every worldly object, to save the Church by raising it 
to its original idea and spirit. Keble had lifted his 
pupil's thoughts above mere dry and unintelligent 
orthodoxy, and Froude had entered with earnest 
purpose into Church ways of practical self-discipline 
and self- correction. Bishop Lloyd's lectures had 
taught him and others, to the surprise of many, that 
the familiar and venerated Prayer Book was but the 
reflexion of mediaeval and primitive devotion, still 
embodied in its Latin forms in the Roman Service 
books ; and so indirectly had planted in their minds 
the idea of the historical connexion, and in a very 
profound way the spiritual sympathy, of the modern 
with the pre-Reformation Church. But it is not till 
1829 or 1830 that we begin in his Remains to see in. 
him the sense of a pressing and anxious crisis in 
religious matters. In the summer of 1829 he came 
more closely than hitherto across Mr. Newman's path. 
They had been Fellows together since 1826, and Tutors 
since 1827. Mr. Froude, with his Toryism and old- 
fashioned churchmanship, would not unnaturally be shy 
of a friend of Whately's with his reputation for theo- 
logical liberalism. Froude's first letter to Mr. Newman 
is in August 1828. It is the letter of a friendly and 
sympathising colleague in college work, glad to be 
free from the " images of impudent undergraduates " ; 
he inserts some lines of verse, talks about Dollond 
and telescopes, and relates how he -and a friend got 


up at half-past two in the morning, and walked half 
a mile to see Mercury rise; he writes about his 
mathematical studies and reading for orders, and 
how a friend had " read half through Prideaux and 
yet accuses himself of idleness " ; but there is no 
interchange of intimate thought. Mr. Newman was 
at this time, as he has told us, drifting away from 
under the shadow of liberalism ; and in Froude he 
found a man who, without being a liberal, was as 
quick -sighted, as courageous, and as alive to great 
thoughts and new hopes as himself. Very different in 
many ways, they were in this alike, that the common- 
place notions of religion and the Church were utterly 
unsatisfactory to them, and that each had the capacity 
for affectionate and whole-hearted friendship. The 
friendship began and lasted on, growing stronger and 
deeper to the end. And this was not all. Froude's 
friendship with Mr. Newman overcame Mr. Keble's 
hesitations about Mr. Newman's supposed liberalism. 
Mr. Newman has put on record what he thought and 
felt about Froude ; no one, probably, of the many 
whom Cardinal Newman's long life has brought round 
him, ever occupied Froude's place in his heart. The 
correspondence shows in part the way in which Froude's 
spirit rose, under the sense of having such a friend to 
work with in the cause which day by day grew greater 
and more sacred in the eyes of both. Towards Mr. 
Keble Froude felt like a son to a father; towards 
Mr. Newman like a soldier to his comrade, and him 
the most splendid and boldest of warriors. Eacli 


mind caught fire from the other, till the high enthu- 
siasm of the one was quenched in an early death. 

Shortly after this friendship began, the course of 
events also began which finally gave birth to the 
Oxford movement. The break-up of parties caused 
by the Roman Catholic emancipation was followed 
by the French and Belgian revolutions of 1830, and 
these changes gave a fresh stimulus to all the reform- 
ing parties in England — Whigs, Radicals, and liberal 
religionists. Froude's letters mark the influence of 
these changes on his mind. They stirred in him the 
fiercest disgust and indignation, and as soon as the 
necessity of battle became evident to save the Church 
— and such a necessity was evident — he threw himself 
into it with all his heart, and his attitude was hence- 
forth that of a determined and uncompromising com- 
batant. " Froude is growing stronger and stronger in 
his sentiments every day," writes James Mozley, in 
1832, "and cuts about him on all sides. It is 
extremely fine to hear him talk. The aristocracy of 
the country at present are the chief objects of his 
vituperation, and he decidedly sets himself against 
the modern character of the gentleman, and thinks 
that the Church will eventually depend for its support, 
as it always did in its most influential times, on the 
very poorest classes." " I would not set down any- 
thing that Froude says for his deliberate opinion," 
writes James Mozley a year later, " for he really hates 
the present state of things so excessively that any 
change would be a relief to him." ..." Froude is 



staying up, and I see a great deal of him." . . . 
" Froude is most enthusiastic in his plans, and says, 
1 What fun it is living in such times as these ! how 
could one now go back to the times of old Tory hum- 
bug ? ' " From henceforth his position among his 
friends was that of the most impatient and aggressive 
of reformers, the one who most urged on his fellows to 
outspoken language and a bold line of action. They 
were not men to hang back and be afraid, but they 
were cautious and considerate of popular alarms and 
prejudices, compared with Froude's fearlessness. Other 
minds were indeed moving — minds as strong as his, 
indeed, it may be, deeper, more complex, more amply 
furnished, with a wider range of vision and a greater 
command of the field. But while he lived, he appears 
as the one who spurs on and incites, where others 
hesitate. He is the one by whom are visibly most 
felt the gaadia certa?ninis, and the confidence of 
victory, and the most profound contempt for the 
men and the ideas of the boastful and short-sighted 

In this unsparing and absorbing warfare, what did 
Froude aim at — what was the object he sought to 
bring about, what were the obstacles he sought to 
overthrow ? 

He was accused, as was most natural, of Romanis- 
ing ; of wishing to bring back Popery. It is perfectly 
certain that this was not what he meant, though he 
did not care for the imputation of it. He was, per- 
haps, the first Englishman who attempted to do justice 


to Rome, and to use friendly language of it, without 
the intention of joining it. But what he fought for was 
not Rome, not even a restoration of unity, but a 
Church of England such as it was conceived of by the 
Caroline divines and the Non- jurors. The great 
break-up of 1830 had forced on men the anxious 
question, " What is the Church as spoken of in 
England? Is it the Church of Christ?" and the 
answers were various. Hooker had said it was "the 
nation " ; and in entirely altered circumstances, with 
some qualifications, Dr. Arnold said the same. It 
was "the Establishment" according to the lawyers 
and politicians, both Whig and Tory. It was an 
invisible and mystical body, said the Evangelicals. 
It was the aggregate of separate congregations, said 
the Nonconformists. It was the parliamentary crea- 
tion of the Reformation, said the Erastians. The 
true Church was the communion of the Pope, the 
pretended Church was a legalised schism, said the 
Roman Catholics. All these ideas were floating 
about, loose and vague, among people who talked 
much about the Church. Whately, with his clear 
sense, had laid down that it was a divine religious 
society, distinct in its origin and existence, distinct in 
its attributes from any other. But this idea had fallen 
dead, till Froude and his friends put new life into it. 
Froude accepted Whately's idea that the Church of 
England was the one historic uninterrupted Church, 
than which there could be no other, locally in England ; 
but into this Froude read a great deal that never was 


and never could be in Whately's thoughts. Whately 
had gone very far in viewing the Church from with- 
out as a great and sacred corporate body. Casting 
aside the Erastian theory, he had claimed its right 
to exist, and if necessary, govern itself, separate from 
the state. He had recognised excommunication as 
its natural and indefeasible instrument of government. 
But what the internal life of the Church was, what 
should be its teaching and organic system, and what 
was the standard and proof of these, Whately had left 
unsaid. And this outline Froude filled up. For this 
he went the way to which the Prayer Book, with its 
Offices, its Liturgy, its Ordination services, pointed 
him. With the divines who had specially valued the 
Prayer Book, and taught in its spirit, Bishop Wilson, 
William Law, Hammond, Ken, Laud, Andrewes, he 
went back to the times and the sources from which 
the Prayer Book came to us, the early Church, the 
reforming Church — for such with all its faults it was — 
of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, 
before the hopelessly corrupt and fatal times of the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, which led to the 
break-up of the sixteenth. Thus to the great question, 
What is the Church ? he gave without hesitation, and 
gave to the end, the same answer that Anglicans gave 
and are giving still. But he added two points which 
were then very new to the ears of English Church- 
men : (i) that there were great and to most people 
unsuspected faults and shortcomings in the English 
Church, for some of which the Reformation was 


gravely responsible; (2) that the Roman Church was 
more right than we had been taught to think in many 
parts both of principle and practice, and that our 
quarrel with it on these points arose from our own 
ignorance and prejudices. To people who had taken 
for granted all their lives that the Church was 
thoroughly "Protestant" and thoroughly right in its 
Protestantism, and that Rome was Antichrist, these 
confident statements came with a shock. He did not 
enter much into dogmatic questions. As far as can 
be judged from his Remains, the one point of doctrine 
on which he laid stress, as being inadequately recog- 
nised and taught in the then condition of the English 
Church, was the primitive doctrine of the Eucharist. 
His other criticisms pointed to practical and moral 
matters ; the spirit of Erastianism, the low standard 
of life and purpose and self-discipline in the clergy, 
the low tone of the current religious teaching. The 
Evangelical teaching seemed to him a system of un- 
real words. The opposite school was too self-com- 
placent, too comfortable, too secure in its social and 
political alliances ; and he was bent on shaming people 
into severer notions. " We will have a vocabularium 
apostolicum, and I will start it with four words : ' pam- 
pered aristocrats,' 'resident gentlemen,' 'smug parsons,' 
and ' pauperes Christi? I shall use the first on all 
occasions ; it seems to me just to hit the thing." " I 
think of putting the view forward (about new monas- 
teries), under the title of a ' Project for Reviving 
Religion in Great Towns.' Certainly colleges of un- 


married priests (who might, of course, retire to a living, 
when they could and liked) would be the cheapest 
possible way of providing effectively for the spiritual 
wants of a large population." And his great quarrel 
with the existing state of things was that the spiritual 
objects of the Church were overlaid and lost sight of 
in the anxiety not to lose its political position. In 
this direction he was, as he proclaims himself, an 
out-and-out Radical, and he was prepared at once to 
go very far. " If a national Church means a Church 
without discipline, my argument for discipline is an 
argument against a national Church; and the best 
thing we can do is to unnationalise ours as soon as 
possible " ; " let us tell the truth and shame the devil ; 
let us give up a ?iational Church and have a real one." 
His criticism did not diminish in severity, or his pro- 
posals become less daring, as he felt that his time was 
growing short and the hand of death was upon him. 
But to the end, the elevation and improvement of the 
English Church remained his great purpose. To his 
friend, as we know, the Roman Church was cither the 
Truth or Antichrist. To Froude it was neither the 
whole Truth nor Antichrist; but like the English 
Church itself, a great and defective Church, whose 
defects were the opposite to ours, and which we 
should do wisely to learn from rather than abuse. 
But to the last his allegiance never wavered to the 
English Church. 

It is very striking to come from Froude's boisterous 
freedom in his letters to his sermons and the papers 


he prepared for publication. In his sermons his 
manner of writing is severe and restrained even to 
dryness. If they startle it is by the force and search- 
ing point of an idea, not by any strength of words. 
The style is chastened, simple, calm, with the most 
careful avoidance of over-statement or anything rhetor- 
ical. And so in his papers, his mode of argument, 
forcible and cogent as it is, avoids all appearance of 
exaggeration or even illustrative expansion ; it is all 
muscle and sinew ; it is modelled on the argumenta- 
tive style of Bishop Butler, and still more, of William 
Law. No one could suppose from these papers 
Froude's fiery impetuosity, or the frank daring of his 
disrespectful vocabulary. Those who can read be- 
tween the lines can trace the grave irony which clung 
everywhere to his deep earnestness. 

There was yet another side of Froude's character 
which was little thought of b^ his critics, or recognised 
by all his friends. With all his keenness of judgment 
and all his readiness for conflict, some who knew him 
best were impressed by the melancholy which hung 
over his life, and which, though he ignored it, they 
could detect. It is remembered still by Cardinal 
Newman. " I thought," wrote Mr. Isaac Williams, 
"that knowing him, I better understood Hamlet, a 
person most natural, but so original as to be unlike 
any one else, hiding depth of delicate thought in 
apparent extravagances. Hcunlct, and the* Georgics of 
Virgil, he used to say, he should have bound together." 
"Isaac Williams," wrote Mr. Copeland, "mentioned 


to me a remark made on Froude by S. Wilberforce in 
his early days : ' They talk of Froude's fun, but some- 
how I cannot be in a room with him alone for ten 
minutes without feeling so intensely melancholy, that 
I do not know what to do with myself. At Bright- 
stone, in my Eden days, he was with me, and I was 
overwhelmed with the deep sense which possessed 
him of yearning which nothing could satisfy and of 
the unsatisfying nature of all things.' " a 

Froude often reminds us of Pascal. Both had that 
peculiarly bright, brilliant, sharp-cutting intellect which 
passes with ease through the coverings and disguises 
which veil realities from men. Both had mathematical 
powers of unusual originality and clearness ; both had 
the same imaginative faculty ; both had the same keen 
interest in practical problems of science ; both felt 
and followed the attraction of deeper and more awful 
interests. Both had the same love of beauty ; both 
suppressed it. Both had the same want of wide or 
deep learning ; they made skilful use of what books 
came to their hand, and used their reading as few 
readers are able to use it ; but their real instrument of 
work was their own quick and strong insight, and 
power of close and vigorous reasoning. Both had the 
greatest contempt for fashionable and hollow " shadows 
of religion." Both had the same definite, unflinching 
judgment. Both used the same clear and direct lan- 

1 A few references to the Remains illustrating this are subjoined 
if nny one cares to compare them with these recollections, i. 7, 13, 
18, 26, 106, 184, 199, 200-204. 


guage. Both had a certain grim delight in the irony 
with which they pursued their opponents. In both 
it is probable that their unmeasured and unsparing 
criticism recoiled on the cause which they had at 
heart. But in the case of both of them it was not the 
temper of the satirist, it was no mere love of attack- 
ing what was vulnerable, and indulgence in the cruel 
pleasure of stinging and putting to shame, which in- 
spired them. Their souls were moved by the dis- 
honour done to religion, by public evils and public 
dangers. Both of them died young, before their work 
was done. They placed before themselves the loftiest 
and most unselfish objects, the restoration of truth 
and goodness in the Church, and to that they gave 
their life and all that they had. And what they called 
on others to be they were themselves. They were alike 
in the sternness, the reality, the perseverance, almost 
unintelligible in its methods to ordinary men, of their 
moral and spiritual self-discipline. 


Hurrell Froude was, when I, as an undergraduate, 
first knew him in 1828, tall and very thin, with some- 
thing of a stoop, with a large skull and forehead, but 

1 I am indebted for these recollections to the late Lord Blach- 
ford. They were written in Oct. 1884. 


not a large face, delicate features, and penetrating gray 
eyes, not exactly piercing, but bright with internal 
conceptions, and ready to assume an expression of 
amusement, careful attention, inquiry, or stern disgust, 
but with a basis of softness. His manner was cordial 
and familiar, and assured you, as you knew him well, 
of his affectionate feeling, which encouraged you to 
speak your mind (within certain limits), subject to the 
consideration that if you said anything absurd it would 
not be allowed to fall to the ground. He had more 
of the undergraduate in him than any " don " whom I 
ever knew ; absolutely unlike Newman in being always 
ready to skate, sail, or ride with his friends — and, if in 
a scrape, not pharisaical as to his means of getting out 
of it. I remember, e.g., climbing Merton gate with 
him in my undergraduate days, when we had been out 
too late boating or skating. And unless authority or 
substantial decorum was really threatened he was very 
lenient — or rather had an amused sympathy with the 
irregularities that are mere matters of mischief or high 
spirits. In lecture it was, mutatis mutandis, the same 
man. Seeing, from his Remains, the "high view 
of his own capacities of which he could not divest 
himself," and his determination not to exhibit or be 
puffed up by it, and looking back on his tutorial 
manner (I was in his lectures both in classics and 
mathematics), it was strange how he disguised, not 
only his sense of superiority, but the appearance of it, 
so that his pupils felt him more as a fellow-student than 
as the refined scholar or mathematician which he was. 


This was partly owing to his carelessness of those 
formulas, the familiarity with which gives even second- 
rate lecturers a position of superiority which is less 
visible in those who, like their pupils, . are themselves 
always struggling with principles — and partly to an 
effort, perhaps sometimes overdone, not to put him- 
self above the level of others. In a lecture on the 
Supplices of zEschylus, I have heard him say tout 
bonnemoit, " I can't construe that — what do you make 
of it, A. B. ?" turning to the supposed best scholar in 
the lecture ; or, when an objection was started to his 
mode of getting through a difficulty, "Ah ! I had not 
thought of that — perhaps your way is the best." And 
this mode of dealing with himself and the under- 
graduates whom he liked, made them like him, but 
also made them really undervalue his talent, which, as 
we now see, was what he meant they should do. At 
the same time, though watchful over his own vanity, 
he was keen and prompt in snubs — playful and 
challenging retort — to those he liked, but in the nature 
of scornful exposure, when he had to do with coarse- 
ness or coxcombry, or shallow display of sentiment. 
It was a paradoxical consequence of his suppression 
of egotism that he was more solicitous to show that 
you were wrong than that he was right. 

He also wanted, like Socrates or Bishop Butler, to 
make others, if possible, think for themselves. 

However, it is not to be inferred that his conversa- 
tion was made of controversy. To a certain extent 
it turned that way, because he was fond of paradox. 


(His brother William used to say that he, William, 
never felt he had really mastered a principle till he 
had thrown it into a paradox.) And paradox, of 
course, invites contradiction, and so controversy. On 
subjects upon which he considered himself more or 
less an apostle, he liked to stir people's minds by 
what startled them, waking them up, or giving them 
"nuts to crack." An almost solemn gravity with 
amusement twinkling behind it — not invisible — and 
ready to burst forth into a bright low laugh when 
gravity had been played out, was a very frequent 
posture with him. 

But he was thoroughly ready to amuse and instruct, 
or to be amused and instructed, as an eager and earnest 
speaker or listener on most matters of interest. I do 
not remember that he had any great turn for beauty of 
colour; he had none, I think, or next to none, for 
music — nor do I remember in him any great love of 
humour — but for beauty of physical form, for mechanics, 
for mathematics, for poetry which had a root in true 
feeling, for wit (including that perception of a quasi- 
logical absurdity of position), for history, for domestic 
incidents, his sympathy was always lively, and he 
would throw himself naturally and warmly into them. 
From his general demeanour (I need scarcely say) the 
"odour of sanctity" was wholly absent. I am not 
sure that his height and depth of aim and lively 
versatility of talent did not leave his compassionate 
sympathies rather undeveloped ; certainly to himself, 
and, I suspect, largely in the case of others, he would 


view suffering not as a thing to be cockered up or 
made much of, though of course to be alleviated if 
possible, but to be viewed calmly as a Providential 
discipline for those who can mitigate, or have to 
endure it. 

J. H. N. was once reading me a letter just received 
from him in which (in answer to J. H. N.'s account of 
his work and the possibility of his breaking down) he 
said in substance : "I daresay you have more to do 
than your health will bear, but I would not have you 
give up anything except perhaps the deanery" (of 
Oriel). And then J. H. N. paused, with a kind of 
inner exultant chuckle, and said, "Ah ! there's a Basil 
for you " ; as if the friendship which sacrificed its 
friend, as it would sacrifice itself to a cause, was the 
friendship which was really worth having. 

As I came to know him in a more manly way, as a 
brother Fellow, friend, and collaborateur, the char- 
acter of " ecclesiastical agitator " was of course added 
to this. 

In this capacity his great pleasure was taking 
bulls by their horns. Like the " gueux " of the Low 
Countries, he would have met half-way any oppro- 
brious nickname, and I believe coined the epithet 
"apostolical" for his party because it was connected 
with everything in Spain which was most obnoxious 
to the British public. I remember one day his griev- 
ously shocking Palmer of Worcester, a man of an 
opposite texture, when a council in J. H. N.'s rooms 
had been called to consider some memorial or other 


to which Palmer wanted to collect the signatures of 
many, and particularly of dignified persons, but in 
which Froude wished to express the determined 
opinions of a few. Froude stretched out his long 
length on Newman's sofa, and broke in upon one of 
Palmer's judicious harangues about Bishops and Arch- 
deacons and such like, with the ejaculation, " I don't 
see why we should disguise from ourselves that our 
object is to dictate to the clergy of this country, and I, 
for one, do not want any one else to get on the box." 
He thought that true Churchmen must be few before 
they were many — that the sin of the clergy in all ages 
was that they tried to make out that Christians were 
many when they were only few, and sacrificed to this 
object the force derivable from downright and unmis- 
takable enforcement of truth in speech or action. 

As simplicity in thought, word, and deed formed 
no small part of his ideal, his tastes in architecture, 
painting, sculpture, rhetoric, or poetry were severe. 
He had no patience with what was artistically dis- 
solute, luscious, or decorated more than in proportion 
to its animating idea — wishy-washy or sentimental. 
The ornamental parts of his own rooms (in which I 
lived in his absence) were a slab of marble to wash 
upon, a print of Rubens's " Deposition," and a head 
(life-size) of the Apollo Belvidere. And I remember 
still the tall scorn, with something of surprise, with 
which, on entering my undergraduate room, he looked 
down on some Venuses, Cupids, and Hebes, which, 
freshman-like, I had bought from an Italian. 


He was not very easy even under conventional 
vulgarity, still less under the vulgarity of egotism ; 
but, being essentially a partisan, he could put up with 
both in a man who was really in earnest and on the 
right side. Nothing, however, I think, would have 
induced him to tolerate false sentiment, and he would, 
I think, if he had lived, have exerted himself very 
trenchantly to prevent his cause being adulterated by it. 

He was, I should say, sometimes misled by a 
theory that genius cut through a subject by logic or 
intuition, without looking to the right or left, while 
common sense was always testing every step by con- 
sideration of surroundings (I have not got his terse 
mode of statement), and that genius was right, or at 
least had only to be corrected here and there by 
common sense. This, I take it, would hardly have 
answered if his trenchancy had not been in practice 
corrected by J. H. N.'s wider political circumspection. 

He submitted, I suppose, to J. H. N.'s axiom, that 
if the movement was to do anything it must become 
" respectable " ; but it was against his nature. 

He would (as we see in the Remains) have wished 
Ken to have the "courage of his convictions" by 
excommunicating the Jurors in William III.'s time, 
and setting up a little Catholic Church, like the 
Jansenists in Holland. He was not (as has been 
observed) a theologian, but he was as jealous for 
orthodoxy as if he were. He spoke slightingly of 
Heber as having ignorantly or carelessly communi- 
cated with (?) Monophysites. But he probably knew 


no more about that and other heresies than a man of 
active and penetrating mind would derive from text- 
books. And I think it likely enough — not that his 
reverence for the Eucharist, but — that his special 
attention to the details of Eucharistic doctrine was 
due to the consideration that it was the foundation 
of ecclesiastical discipline and authority — matters on 
which his mind fastened itself with enthusiasm. 



In the early days of the movement, among Mr. 
Newman's greatest friends, and much in his con- 
fidence, were two Fellows of Trinity — a college which 
never forgot that Newman had once belonged to it, 
— Isaac Williams and William John Copeland. In 
mind and character very different, they were close 
friends, with the affection which was characteristic of 
those days ; and for both of them Mr. Newman " had 
the love which passes that of common relation." 1 
Isaac Williams was born among the mountains of 
Wales, and had the true poetic gift, though his power 
of expression was often not equal to what he wanted 
to say. Copeland was a Londoner, bred up in the 
strict school of Churchmanship represented by Mr. 
Norris of Hackney, tempered by sympathies with the 
Non-jurors. At Oxford he lived, along with Isaac 
Williams, in the very heart of the movement, which 
was the interest of his life ; but he lived, self-forgetting 

1 Mozley, Reminiscences, i. 18. 


or self-effacing, a wonderful mixture of tender and 
inexhaustible sympathy, and of quick and keen wit, 
which yet, somehow or other, in that time of exaspera- 
tion and bitterness, made him few enemies. He 
knew more than most men of the goings on of the 
movement, and he ought to have been its chronicler. 
But he was fastidious and hard to satisfy, and he left 
his task till it was too late. 

Isaac Williams was born in Wales in 1802, a year 
after Newman, ten years after John Keble. His early 
life was spent in London, but his affection for Wales 
and its mountain scenery was great and undiminished 
to the end of his life. At Harrow, where Henry Drury 
was his tutor, he made his mark by his mastery of 
Latin composition and his devotion to Latin language 
and literature. " I was so used to think in Latin that 
when I had to write an English theme, which was but 
seldom, I had to translate" my ideas, which ran in 
Latin, into English " ; 1 and later in life he complained 
of the Latin current which disturbed him when he had 
to write English. He was also a great cricketer ; and 
he describes himself as coming up to Trinity, where 
he soon got a 'scholarship, an ambitious and careless 
youth, who had never heard a word about Christianity, 
and to whom religion, its aims and its restraints, were 
a mere name. 

This was changed by what, in the language of 
devotional schools, would have been called his con- 
version. It came about, as men speak, as the result 

1 I. Williams, MS. Memoir. 


of accidents ; but the whole course of his thoughts 
and life was turned into a channel from which it 
nevermore diverged. An old Welsh clergyman gave 
the undergraduate an introduction to John Keble, who 
then held a place in Oxford almost unique. But the 
Trinity undergraduate and the Oriel don saw little of 
one another till Isaac Williams won the Latin prize 
poem, Ars Geologica. Keble then called on Isaac 
Williams and offered his help in criticising the poem 
and polishing it for printing. The two men plainly took 
to one another at first sight ; and that service was 
followed by a most unexpected invitation on Keble's 
part. He had chanced to come to Williams's room, 
and on Williams saying that he had no plan of read- 
ing for the approaching vacation, Keble said, " I am 
going to leave Oxford for good. Suppose you come 
and read with me. The Provost has asked me to take 
Wilberforce, and I declined ; but if you would come, 
you would be companions." Keble was going down 
to Southrop, a little curacy near his father's ; there 
Williams joined him, with two more — Robert Wilber- 
force and R. H. Froude ; and there the Long Vacation 
of 1823 was spent, and Isaac Williams's character 
and course determined. " It was this very trivial 
accident, this short walk of a few yards, and a few 
words spoken, which was the turning-point of my life. 
If a merciful God had miraculously interposed to 
arrest my course, I could not have had a stronger 
assurance of His presence than I always had in look- 
ing back to that day." It determined Isaac Williams's 


character, and it determined for good and all his 
theological position. He had before him all day long 
in John Keble a spectacle which was absolutely new 
to him. Ambitious as a rising and successful scholar 
at college, he saw a man, looked up to and wondered 
at by every one, absolutely without pride and without 
ambition. He saw the most distinguished academic 
of his day, to whom every prospect was open, retiring 
from Oxford in the height of his fame to bury himself 
with a few hundreds of Gloucestershire peasants in a 
miserable curacy. He saw this man caring for and 
respecting the ignorant and poor as much as others 
respected the great and the learned. He saw this 
man, who had made what the world would call so 
great a sacrifice, apparently unconscious that he had 
made any sacrifice at all, gay, unceremonious, bright, 
full of play as a boy, ready with his pupils for any 
exercise, mental or muscular — for a hard ride, or a 
crabbed bit of yEschylus, or a logic fence with dis- 
putatious and paradoxical undergraduates, giving and 
taking on even ground. These pupils saw one, the 
depth of whose religion none could doubt, "always 
endeavouring to do them good as it were unknown to 
themselves and in secret, and ever avoiding that his 
kindness should be felt and acknowledged " ; showing 
in the whole course of daily life the purity of Christian 
love, and taking the utmost pains to make no pro- 
fession or show of it. This unostentatious and unde- 
monstrative religion — so frank, so generous in all its 
ways — was to Isaac Williams "quite a new world." 


It turned his mind in upon itself in the deepest rever- 
ence, but also with something of morbid despair of 
ever reaching such a standard. It drove all dreams 
of ambition out of his mind. It made humility, self- 
restraint, self-abasement, objects of unceasing, possibly 
not always wise and healthy, effort. But the result 
was certainly a character of great sweetness, tenderness, 
and lowly unselfishness, pure, free from all worldli- 
ness, and deeply resigned to the will of God. He 
caught from Mr. Keble, like Froude, two characteristic 
habits of mind — a strong depreciation of mere intel- 
lect compared with the less showy excellences of 
faithfulness to conscience and duty ; and a horror and 
hatred of everything that seemed like display or the 
desire of applause or of immediate effect. Intellectual 
depredators of intellect may deceive themselves, and 
do not always escape the snare which they fear ; but 
in Isaac Williams there was a very genuine carrying 
out of the Psalmist's words : " Surely I have behaved 
and quieted myself; I refrain my soul and keep it low, 
as a child that is weaned from his mother." This 
fear of display in a man of singularly delicate and 
fastidious taste came to have something forced and 
morbid in it. It seemed sometimes as if in preaching 
or talking he aimed at being dull and clumsy. But 
in all that he did and wrote he aimed at being true at 
all costs and in the very depths of his heart ; and 
though, in his words, we may wish sometimes for what 
we should feel to be more natural and healthy in tone, 
we never can doubt that we are in the presence of 


one who shrank from all conscious unreality like 

From Keble, or, it may be said, from the Kebles, 
he received his theology. The Kebles were all of 
them men of the old-fashioned High Church ortho- 
doxy, of the Prayer Book and the Catechism — the 
orthodoxy which was professed at Oxford, which was 
represented in London by Norris of Hackney and 
Joshua Watson ; which valued in religion sobriety, 
reverence, and deference to authority, and in teaching, 
sound learning and the wisdom of the great English 
divines ■ which vehemently disliked the Evangelicals 
and Methodists for their poor and loose theology, 
their love of excitement and display, their hunting 
after popularity. This Church of England divinity 
was the theology of the old Vicar of Coin St. Aldwyn's, 
a good scholar and a good parish priest, who had 
brought up his two sons at home to be scholars ; and 
had impressed his solid and manly theology on them 
so strongly that amid all changes they remained at 
bottom true to their paternal training. John Keble 
added to it great attainments and brilliant gifts of 
imagination and poetry ; but he never lost the plain, 
downright, almost awkward ways of conversation and 
manner of his simple home — ways which might have 
seemed abrupt and rough but for the singular sweet- 
ness and charm of his nature. To those who looked 
on the outside he was always the homely, rigidly ortho- 
dox country clergyman. On Isaac Williams, with his 
ethical standard, John Keble also impressed his ideas 



of religious truth ; he made him an old-fashioned 
High Churchman, suspicious of excitement and 
" effect," suspicious of the loud-talking religious world, 
suspicious of its novelties and shallowness, and cling- 
ing with his whole soul to ancient ways and sound 
Church of England doctrine reflected in the Prayer 
Book. And from John Keble's influence he passed 
under the influence of Thomas Keble, the Vicar of 
Bisley, a man of sterner type than his brother, with 
strong and definite opinions on all subjects ; curt and 
keen in speech ; intolerant of all that seemed to 
threaten wholesome teaching and the interests of the 
Church ; and equally straightforward, equally simple, 
in manners and life. Under him Isaac Williams 
began his career as a clergyman ; he spent two years 
of solitary and monotonous life in a small cure, seek- 
ing comfort from solitude in poetical composition ("It 
was very calm and subduing," he writes) ; and then he 
was recalled to Oxford as Fellow and Tutor of his college, 
to meet a new and stronger influence, which it was 
part of the work and trial of the rest of his life both 
to assimilate and to resist. 

For, with Newman, with whom he now came into 
contact, he did both. There opened to him from 
intercourse with Newman a new world of thought ; 
and yet while feeling and answering to its charm, he 
never was quite at ease with him. But Williams and 
Froude had always been great friends since the read- 
ing party of 1823, in spite of Froude's audacities. 
Froude was now residing in Oxford, and had become 


Newman's most intimate friend, and he brought 
Newman and Williams together. "Living at that 
time," he says, "so much with Froude, I was now 
in consequence for the first time brought into inter- 
course with Newman. We almost daily walked and 
often dined together." Newman and Froude had 
ceased to be tutors ; their thoughts were turned to 
theology and the condition of the Church. Newman 
had definitely broken with the Evangelicals, to whom 
he had been supposed to belong, and Whately's 
influence over him was waning, and with Froude he 
looked up to Keble as the pattern of religious wisdom. 
He had accepted the position of a Churchman as it 
was understood by Keble and Froude ; and thus there 
was nothing to hinder Williams's full sympathy with 
him. But from the first there seems to have been an 
almost impalpable bar between them, which is the 
more remarkable because Williams appears to have 
seen with equanimity Froude's apparently more violent 
and dangerous outbreaks of paradox and antipathy. 
Possibly, after the catastrophe, he may, in looking 
back, have exaggerated his early alarms. But from 
the first he says he saw in Newman what he had 
learned to look upon as the gravest of dangers — the 
preponderance of intellect among the elements of 
character and as the guide of life. " I was greatly 
delighted and charmed with Newman, who was ex- 
tremely kind to me, but did not altogether trust his 
opinions ; and though Froude was in the habit of 
stating things in an extreme and paradoxical manner, 



yet one always felt conscious of a ground of entire 
confidence and agreement; but it was not so with 
Newman, even though one appeared more in unison 
with his more moderate views." 

But, in spite of all this, Newman offered and Isaac 
Williams accepted the curacy of St. Mary's. " Things 
at Oxford [1830-32] at that time were very dull." 
" Froude and I seemed entirely alone, with Newman 
only secretly, as it were, beginning to sympathise. I 
became at once very much attached to Newman, won 
by his kindness and delighted by his good and 
wonderful qualities ; and he proposed that I should 
be his curate at St. Mary's. ... I can remember a 
strong feeling of difference I first felt on acting to- 
gether with him from what I had been accustomed to : 
that he was in the habit of looking for effect, and for 
what was sensibly effective, which from the Bisley 
and Fairford School I had been long habituated to 
avoid ; but to do one's duty in faith and leave it to 
God, and that all the more earnestly, because there 
were no sympathies from without to answer. There 
was a felt but unexpressed difference of this kind, but 
perhaps it became afterwards harmonised as we acted 
together." 1 

Thus early, among those most closely united, there 
appeared the beginnings of those different currents 
which became so divergent as time went on. Isaac 
Williams, dear as he was to Newman, and returning to 
the full Newman's affection, yet represented from the 
1 I. Williams, MS. Memoir. 


first the views of what Williams spoke of as the "Bisley 
and Fairford School," which, though sympathising and 
co-operating with the movement, was never quite easy 
about it, and was not sparing of its criticism on the 
stir and agitation of the Tracts. 

Isaac Williams threw himself heartily into the 
early stages of the movement ; in his poetry into its 
imaginative and poetical side, and also into its practical 
and self-denying side. But he would have been quite 
content with its silent working, and its apparent want 
of visible success. He would have been quite content 
with preaching simple homely sermons on the obvious 
but hard duties of daily life, and not seeing much 
come of them ; with finding a slow abatement of the 
self-indulgent habits of university life, with keeping 
Fridays, with less wine in common room. The Bisley 
maxims bade men to be very stiff and uncompromising 
in their witness and in their duties, but to make no 
show and expect no recognition or immediate fruit, 
and to be silent under misconstruction. But his 
was not a mind which realised great possibilities of 
change in the inherited ways of the English Church. 
The spirit of change, so keenly discerned by Newman, 
as being both certain and capable of being turned to 
good account as well as bad, to him was unintelligible 
or bad. More reality, more severity and consistency, 
deeper habits of self-discipline on the accepted lines 
of English Church orthodoxy, would have satisfied 
him as the aim of the movement, as it undoubtedly 
was a large part of its aim ; though with Froude and 


Newman it also aimed at a widening of ideas, of 
interests and sympathies, beyond what had been 
common in the English Church. 

In the history of the movement Isaac Williams 
took a forward part in two of its events, with one of 
which his connexion was most natural, with the other 
grotesquely and ludicrously incongruous. The one 
was the plan and starting of the series of Plain 
Sermons in 1839, to which not only the Kebles, 
Williams, and Copeland contributed their volumes, 
but also Newman and Dr. Pusey. Isaac Williams has 
left the following account of his share in the work. 

"It seemed at this time (about 1838-39) as if 
Oxford, from the strength of principle shown there 
(and an almost unanimous and concentrated energy), 
was becoming a rallying point for the whole kingdom : 
but I watched from the beginning and saw greater 
dangers among ourselves than those from without ; 
which I endeavoured to obviate by publishing the 
Plain Sermons. [Plain Sermons, by contributors to 
the Tracts for the Times, 1st Series, January 1839.] 
I attempted in vain to get the Kebles to publish, in 
order to keep pace with Newman, and so maintain a 
more practical turn in the movement. I remember 
C. Cornish (C. L. Cornish, Fellow and Tutor of 
Exeter) coming to me and saying as we walked in 
Trinity Gardens, ' People are a little afraid of being 
carried away by Newman's brilliancy ; they want more 
of the steady sobriety of the Kebles infused into the 
movement to keep us safe ; we have so much sail and 


want ballast.' And the effect of the publication of 
the Plain Sermons was at the time very quieting. In 
first undertaking the Plain Sermons, I had no en- 
couragement from any one, not even from John 
Keble ; acquiescence was all that I could gain. But 
I have heard J. K. mention a saying of Judge Cole- 
ridge, long before the Tracts were thought of : 'If 
you want to propagate your opinions you should lend 
your sermons ; the clergy would then preach them, 
and adopt your opinions.' Now this has been the 
effect of the publication of the Plain Sermons" 

Isaac Williams, if any man, represented in the move- 
ment the moderate and unobtrusive way of religious 
teaching. But it was his curious fate to be dragged 
into the front ranks of the fray, and to be singled out 
as almost the most wicked and dangerous of the 
Tractarians. He had the strange fortune to produce 
the first of the Tracts 1 which was by itself held up to 
popular indignation as embodying all the mischief of 
the series and the secret aims of the movement. The 
Tract had another effect. It made Williams the object 
of the first great Tractarian battle in the University, 
the contest for the Poetry Professorship : the first 
decisive and open trial of strength, and the first Tract- 
arian defeat. The contest, even more than the result, 
distressed him greatly; and the course of things in the 
movement itself aggravated his distress. His general 

1 I'he history of this famous Tract, No. 80, on Reserve in com- 
municating Religious Knowledge, belongs to a later stage of the 



distrust of intellectual restlessness had now passed 
into the special and too well grounded fear that the 
movement, in some of its most prominent represent- 
atives, was going definitely in the direction of Rome. 
A new generation was rising into influence, to whom 
the old Church watchwords and maxims, the old 
Church habits of mind, the old Church convictions, 
had completely lost their force, and were become 
almost objects of dislike and scorn ; and for this 
change Newman's approval and countenance were 
freely and not very scrupulously quoted. Williams's 
relation to him had long been a curious mixture of 
the most affectionate attachment and intimacy with 
growing distrust and sense of divergence. Newman 
was now giving more and more distinct warning that 
he was likely to go where Williams could not follow 
him, and the pain on both sides was growing. But 
things moved fast, and at length the strain broke. 

The estrangement was inevitable ; but both cher- 
ished the warmest feelings of affection, even though 
such a friendship had been broken. But Oxford 
became distasteful to Williams, and he soon afterwards 
left it for Bisley and Stinchcombe, the living of his 
brother-in-law, Sir G. Prevost. There he married 
(22d June 1842), and spent the remainder of his life 
devoting himself to the preparation of those devotional 
commentaries, which are still so well known. He 
suffered for the greatest part of his life from a dis- 
tressing and disabling chronic asthma — from the time 
that he came back to Oxford as Fellow and Tutor — 


and he died in 1865. The old friends met once more 
shortly before Isaac Williams's death ; Newman came 
to see him, and at his departure Williams accompanied 
him to the station. 

Isaac Williams wrote a great deal of poetry, first 
during his solitary curacy at Windrush, and afterwards 
at Oxford. It was in a lower and sadder key than 
the Ch?'istian Year, which no doubt first inspired it ; 
it wanted the elasticity and freshness and variety of 
Keble's verse, and it was often careless in structure 
and wanting in concentration. But it was the out- 
pouring of a very beautiful mind, deeply impressed 
with the realities of failure in the Church and religion, 
as well as in human life, full of tenderness and pathetic 
sweetness, and seeking a vent for its feelings, and 
relief for its trouble, in calling up before itself the 
images of God's goodness and kingdom of which 
nature and the world are full. His poetry is a witness 
to the depth and earnestness and genuine delicacy of 
what seemed hard and narrow in the Bisley School ; 
there are passages in it which are not easily forgotten ; 
but it was not strong enough to arrest the excitement 
which soon set in, and with its continual obscurity 
and its want of finish it never had the recognition 
really due to its excellence. Newman thought it too 
soft. It certainly wanted the fire and boldness and 
directness which he threw into his own verse when he 
wrote ; but serious earnestness and severity of tone it 
certainly did not want. 



Charles Marriott was a man who was drawn into 
the movement, almost in spite of himself, by the attrac- 
tion of the character of the leaders, the greatness of its 
object, and the purity and nobleness of the motives 
which prompted it. He was naturally a man of meta- 
physical mind, given almost from a child to abstract 
and indeed abstruse thought. 1 He had been a 
student of S. T. Coleridge, whom the Oriel men dis- 
liked as a misty thinker. He used to discuss Cole- 
ridge with a man little known then, but who gained a 
high reputation on the Continent as a first-rate Greek 
scholar, and became afterwards Professor of Greek in 
the University of Sydney, Charles Badham. Marriott 
also appreciated Hampden as a philosopher, whom the 
Oriel men thoroughly distrusted as a theologian. He 
might easily under different conditions have become 

1 " He told me," writes a relative, " that questions about trade 
used to occupy him very early in life. He used to ponder how it 
could be right to sell things for more than they cost you." 


a divine of the type of F. D. Maurice. He was by 
disposition averse to anything like party, and the 
rough and sharp proceedings which party action some- 
times seems to make natural. His temper was 
eminently sober, cautious and conciliatory in his way 
of looking at important questions. He was a man 
with many friends of different sorts and ways, and of 
boundless though undemonstrative sympathy. His 
original tendencies would have made him an eclectic, 
recognising the strength of position in opposing 
schools or theories, and welcoming all that was good 
and high in them. He was profoundly and devotedly 
religious, without show, without extravagance. His 
father, who died when he was only fourteen, had been 
a distinguished man in his time. He was a Christ 
Church man, and one of two in the first of the Oxford 
Honour lists in 1802, with E. Copleston, H. Phillpotts, 
and S. P. Rigaud for his examiners. He was after- 
wards tutor to the Earl of Dalkeith, and he became 
the friend of Walter Scott, who dedicated to him the 
Second Canto of Marmion ; and having ready and 
graceful poetical talent, he contributed several ballads 
to the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, The Feast of 
Spurs, and Archie Armstrong's Aith. He was a good 
preacher; his sympathies — of friendship, perhaps, 
rather than of definite opinion — were with men like 
Mr. John Bowdler and the Thorntons. While he 
lived he taught Charles Marriott himself. After his 
death, Charles, a studious boy, with ways of his own 
of learning, and though successful and sure in his 


work, very slow in the process of doing it, after a short 
and discouraging experiment at Rugby, went to read 
with a private tutor till he went to Oxford. He was 
first at Exeter, and then gained a scholarship at Balliol. 
He gained a Classical First Class and a Mathematical 
Second in the Michaelmas Term of 1832, and the 
following Easter he was elected Fellow at Oriel. 

For a man of his power and attainments he was as 
a speaker, and in conversation, surprisingly awkward. 
He had a sturdy, penetrating, tenacious, but embar- 
rassed intellect — embarrassed, at least, by the crowd 
and range of jostling thoughts, in its outward processes 
and manifestations, for he thoroughly trusted its inner 
workings, and was confident of the accuracy of the 
results, even when helplessly unable to justify them at 
the moment. 1 In matters of business he seemed at 
first sight utterly unpractical. In discussing with 
keen, rapid, and experienced men like the Provost, 
the value of leases, or some question of the manage- 
ment of College property, Marriott, who always took 
great interest in such inquiries, frequently maintained 
some position which to the quicker wits round him 
seemed a paradox or a mare's nest. Yet it often 
happened that after a dispute, carried on with a brisk 
fire of not always respectful objections to Marriott's 
view, and in which his only advantage was the patience 
with which he clumsily, yet surely, brought out the 

1 ' ' He had his own way of doing everything, and used most 
stoutly to protest that it was quite impossible that he should do it 
in any other." — MS. Memoir by his brother, John Marriott. 



real point of the matter, overlooked by others, the 
debate ended in the recognition that he had been 
right. It was often a strange and almost distressing 
sight to see the difficulty under which he sometimes 
laboured of communicating his thoughts, as a speaker 
at a meeting, or as a teacher to his hearers, or even in 
the easiness of familiar talk. The comfort was that 
he was not really discouraged. He was wrestling with 
his own refractory faculty of exposition and speech ; 
it may be, he was busy deeper down in the recesses 
and storehouses of his mind ; but he was too much 
taken up with the effort to notice what people thought 
of it, or even if they smiled ; and what he had to say 
was so genuine and veracious, as an expression of his 
meaning, so full of benevolence, charity, and gener- 
osity, and often so weighty and unexpected, that men 
felt it a shame to think much of the peculiarities of 
his long look of blank silence, and the odd, clumsy 
explanations which followed it. He was a man, under 
an uncouth exterior, of the noblest and most affection- 
ate nature ; most patient, indulgent, and hopeful to 
all in whom he took an interest, even when they 
sorely tried his kindness and his faith in them. 
Where he loved and trusted and admired, he was 
apt to rate very highly, sometimes too highly. His 
gratitude was boundless. He was one of those who 
deliberately gave up the prospect of domestic life, to 
which he was naturally drawn, for the sake of his 
cause. Capable of abstract thought beyond most 
men of his time, and never unwilling to share his 


thoughts with those at all disposed to venture with 
him into deep waters, he was always ready to converse 
or to discuss on much more ordinary ground. As an 
undergraduate and a young bachelor, he had attained, 
without seeking it, a position of almost unexampled 
authority in the junior University world that was 
hardly reached by any one for many years at least 
after him. He was hopeless as a speaker in the 
Union ; but with all his halting and bungling 
speeches, that democratic and sometimes noisy 
assembly bore from him with kindly amusement 
and real respect what they would bear from no one 
else, and he had an influence in its sometimes turbu- 
lent debates which seems unaccountable. He was 
the vir pietate gravis. In a once popular squib, 
occasioned by one of the fiercest of these debates, 
this unique position is noticed and commemorated — 

OvS' zXadev Mapiwra, cfaXairaTOV 'Q.pwqX<-ov 

'HA#€ jxeya ypioviov, Macrt\ots /cat iracr ayaTnyTos, 
Kat 07/etAojv, 7rpocT€(f)i] rravras kzivools hrk^aiv)- 

His ways and his talk were such as to call forth 
not unfrequent mirth among those who most revered 
him. He would meet you and look you in the face 
without speaking a word. He was not without 
humour; but his jokes, carried off by a little laugh 
of his own, were apt to be recondite in their meaning 
and allusions. \Yith his great power of sympathy, he 

1 Uniomachia, 1833. 


yet did not easily divine other men's lighter or subtler 
moods, and odd and sometimes even distressing mis- 
takes were the consequence. His health was weak, 
and a chronic tenderness of throat and chest made 
him take precautions which sometimes seemed whim- 
sical ; and his well-known figure in a black cloak, with 
a black veil over his college cap, and a black com- 
forter round his neck, which at one time in Oxford 
acquired his name, sometimes startled little boys and 
sleepy college porters when he came on them suddenly 
at night. 

With more power than most men of standing alone, 
and of arranging his observations on life and the world 
in ways of his own, he had pre-eminently above all 
men round him, in the highest and noblest form, the 
spirit of a disciple. Like most human things, disciple- 
ship has its good and its evil, its strong and its poor 
and dangerous side ; but it really has, what is much 
forgotten now, a good and a strong side. Both in 
philosophy and religion, the fiadrjrrjs is a distinct 
character, and Charles Marriott was an example of 
it at its best. He had its manly and reasonable 
humility, its generous trustfulness, its self-forgetfulness ; 
he had, too, the enthusiasm of having and recognising 
a great master and teacher, and doing what he wanted 
done ; and he learned from the love of his master to 
love what he believed truth still more. The character 
of the disciple does not save a man from difficulties, 
from trouble and perplexity ; but it tends to save him 
from idols of his own making. It is something, in 


the trials of life and faith, to have the consciousness 
of knowing or having known some one greater and 
better and wiser than oneself, of having felt the spell 
of his guidance and example. Marriott's mind, quick 
to see what was real and strong, and at once reverent 
to it as soon as he saw it, came very much, as an 
undergraduate at Balliol, under the influence of a very 
able and brilliant tutor, Moberly, afterwards Head- 
master of Winchester and Bishop of Salisbury ; and 
to the last his deference and affection to his old tutor 
remained unimpaired. But he came under a still 
more potent charm when he moved to Oriel, and 
became the friend of Mr. Newman. Master and 
disciple were as unlike as any two men could be ; 
they were united by their sympathy in the great crisis 
round them, by their absorbing devotion to the cause 
of true religion. Marriott brought to the movement, 
and especially to its chief, a great University character, 
and an unswerving and touching fidelity. He placed 
himself, his life, and all that he could do, at the ser- 
vice of the great effort to elevate and animate the 
Church ; to the last he would gladly have done so 
under him whom he first acknowledged as his master. 
This was not to be ; and he transferred his allegiance, 
as unreservedly, with equal loyalty and self-sacrifice, 
to his successor. But to the end, while his powers 
lasted, with all his great gifts and attainments, with 
every temptation to an independent position and self- 
chosen employment, he continued a disciple. He 
believed in men wiser than himself; he occupied 


himself with what they thought best for him 
to do. 

This work was, for the most part, in what was done 
to raise the standard of knowledge of early Christian 
literature, and to make that knowledge accurate and 
scholarlike. He was, for a time, the Principal of the 
Theological College at Chichester, under Bishop Otter. 
He was also for a time Tutor at Oriel, and later, Vicar 
of St. Mary's. He was long bent on setting on foot 
some kind of Hall for poor students ; and he took 
over from Mr. Newman the buildings at Littlemore, 
which he turned into a place for printing religious 
works. But though he was connected more or less 
closely with numberless schemes of Christian work in 
Oxford and out of it, his special work was that of a 
theological student. Marriott had much to do with 
the Library of the Fathers, with correcting transla- 
tions, collating manuscripts, editing texts. 1 Somehow, 
the most interesting portions hardly came to his share ; 
and what he did in the way of original writing, little 
as it was, causes regret that so much of his time was 
spent on the drudgery of editing. Some sermons, a 

1 " This became the main task of his life as long as health was 
continued to him. All who knew him well will remember how 
laboriously he worked at it, and how, in one shape or another, it 
was always on hand. Either he was translating, or correcting the 
translation of others ; or he was collating MSS., or correcting the 
press. This last work was carried on at all times and wherever he 
was — on a journey, after dinner — even in a boat, he would pull out 
a sheet and go to write upon it in haste to get it finished for the 
next post. The number of volumes in the Library of the Fathers 
which bear the signature C. M. attest his diligence." — John Mar- 
riott's Memoir of him (MS.) 


little volume of Thoughts on Private Devotion, and 
another on the Epistle to the Romans, are nearly all 
that he has left of his own. Novelty of manner or 
thought in them there is none, still less anything 
brilliant or sharp in observation or style ; but there 
is an imckfinable sense, in their calm, severe pages, 
of a deep and serious mind dwelling on deep and 
very serious things. It is impossible not to wish that 
a man who could so write and impress people might 
have had the leisure to write more. 

But Marriott never had any leisure. It has been 
said above that he placed himself at the service of 
those whom he counted his teachers. But the truth 
is that he was at every one's service who wanted or 
who asked his help. He had a large, and what must 
have been often a burdensome, correspondence. With 
pupils or friends he was always ready for some extra 
bit of reading. To strangers he was always ready to 
show attention and hospitality, though Marriott's parties 
were as quaint as himself. His breakfast parties in his 
own room were things to have seen — a crowd of under- 
graduates, finding their way with difficulty amid lanes 
and piles of books, amid a scarcity of chairs and room, 
and the host, perfectly unconscious of anything gro- 
tesque, sitting silent during the whole of the meal, but 
perfectly happy, at the head of the table. But there 
was no claimant on his purse or his interest who was 
too strange for his sympathy — raw freshmen, bores of 
every kind, broken-down tradesmen, old women, dis- 
tressed foreigners, converted Jews, all the odd and 


helpless wanderers from beaten ways, were to be heard 
of at Marriott's rooms ; and all, more or less, had a 
share of his time and thoughts, and perhaps counsel. 
He was sensible of worry as he grew older ; but he 
never relaxed his efforts to do what any one asked of 
him. There must be even now some still living who 
know what no one else knows, how much they owe, 
with no direct claim on him, to Charles Marriott's 
inexhaustible patience and charity. The pains which 
he would take with even the most uncongenial and 
unpromising men, who somehow had come in his 
way, and seemed thrown on his charge, the patience 
with which he would bear and condone their follies 
and even worse, were not to be told, for, indeed, few 
knew what they were. 

" He was always ready to be the friend of any one 
whose conduct gave proofs of high principle, however 
inferior to himself in knowledge or acquirements, and 
his friendship once gained was not easily lost. I 
believe there was nothing in his power which he was 
not ready to do for a friend who wanted his help. It 
is not easy to state instances of such kindness without 
revealing what for many reasons had better be left 
untold. But many such have come to my knowledge, 
and I believe there are many more known only to 
himself and to those who derived benefit from his 
disinterested friendship." 1 

Marriott's great contribution to the movement was 
his solid, simple goodness, his immovable hope, his 
1 J. M., MS. Memoir. 


confidence that things would come right. With much 
imaginativeness open to poetical grandeur and charm, 
and not without some power of giving expression to 
feeling, he was destitute of all that made so many 
others of his friends interesting as men. He was 
nothing, as a person to know and observe, to the 
genius of the two Mozleys, to the brilliant social 
charm of Frederic Faber, to the keen, refined intelli- 
gence of Mark Pattison, to the originality and clever 
eccentricity of William Palmer of Magdalen. And he 
was nothing as a man of practical power for organising 
and carrying out successful schemes : such power was 
not much found at Oxford in those days. But his 
faith in his cause, as the cause of goodness and truth, 
was proof against mockery or suspicion or disaster. 
When ominous signs disturbed other people he saw 
none. He had an almost perverse subtlety of mind 
which put a favourable interpretation on what seemed 
most formidable. As his master drew more and more 
out of sympathy with the English Church, Marriott, 
resolutely loyal to it and to him, refused to understand 
hints and indications which to others were but too 
plain. He vexed and even provoked Newman, in the 
last agonies of the struggle, by the optimism with 
which he clung to useless theories and impossible 
hopes. For that unquenchable hoping against hope, 
and hope unabated still when the catastrophe had 
come, the English Church at least owes him deep 
gratitude. Throughout those anxious years he never 
despaired of her. 


Ali through his life he was a beacon and an incite- 
ment to those who wished to make a good use of 
their lives. In him all men could see, whatever their 
opinions and however little they liked him, the sim- 
plicity and the truth of a self-denying life of suffering 
— for he was never well — of zealous hard work, un- 
stinted, unrecompensed ; of unabated lofty hopes for 
the great interests of the Church and the University ; 
of deep unpretending matter-of-course godliness and 
goodness — without " form or comeliness " to attract 
any but those who cared for them, for themselves 
alone. It is almost a sacred duty to those who 
remember one who cared nothing for his own name 
or fame to recall what is the truth — that no one did 
more to persuade those round him of the solid 
underground religious reality of the movement. Mr. 
Thomas Mozley, among other generous notices of 
men whom the world and their contemporaries have 
forgotten, has said what is not more than justice. 1 
Speaking of the enthusiasm of the movement, and 
the spirit of its members, "There had never been 
seen at Oxford, indeed seldom anywhere, so large and 
noble a sacrifice of the most precious gifts and powers 
to a sacred cause," he points out what each of the 
leaders gave to it : " Charles Marriott threw in his 
scholarship and something more, for he might have 
been a philosopher, and he had poetry in his veins, 
being the son of the well-known author of the ' Devon- 
shire Lane.' No one sacrificed himself so entirely to 
1 Rem. i. 447. 


the cause, giving to it all that he had and all that he 
was, as Charles Marriott. He did not gather large 
congregations ; he did not write works of genius to 
spread his name over the land, and to all time ; he 
had few of the pleasures or even of the comforts that 
spontaneously offer themselves in any field of enter- 
prise. He laboured day and night in the search and 
defence of Divine Truth. His admirers were not the 
thousands, but the scholars who could really appreciate. 
I confess to have been a little ashamed of myself when 
Bishop Burgess asked me about Charles Marriott, as 
one of the most eminent scholars of the day. Through 
sheer ignorance I had failed in adequate appreciation." 
In his later years he became a member of the new Heb- 
domadal Council at Oxford, and took considerable part 
in working the new constitution of the University. In 
an epidemic of smallpox at Oxford in 1854, he took 
his full share in looking after the sick, and caught the 
disorder ; but he recovered. At length, in the midst 
of troublesome work and many anxieties, his life of 
toil was arrested by a severe paralytic seizure, 29th 
June 1855. He partially rallied, and survived for 
some time longer ; but his labours were ended. He 
died at Bradfield, 25th September 1858. He was 
worn out by variety and pressure of unintermitted 
labour, which he would scarcely allow any change or 
holiday to relieve. Exhaustion made illness, when it 
came, fatal. 



"On 14th July 1833," we read in Cardinal Newman's 
Apologia, " Mr. Keble preached the assize sermon in 
the University Pulpit. It was published under the 
title of National Apostasy. I have ever considered 
and kept the day as the start of the religious move- 
ment of 1833." 1 

This memorable sermon was a strong expression 
of the belief common to a large body of Churchmen 
amid the triumphs of the Reform Bill, that the new 
governors of the country were preparing to invade the 
rights, and to alter the constitution, and even the 
public documents, of the Church. The suppression 
of ten Irish Bishoprics, in defiance of Church opinion, 
showed how ready the Government was to take liberties 
in a high-handed way with the old adjustments of the 
relations of Church and State. Churchmen had 
hitherto taken for granted that England was "a 
nation which had for centuries acknowledged, as an 

1 Apol. p. 100. 


essential part of its theory of government, that, as a 
Christian nation, she is also a part of Christ's Church, 
and bound, in all her legislation and policy, by the fun- 
damental laws of that Church/' When "a Government 
and people, so constituted, threw off the restraint which 
in many respects such a principle would impose upon 
them, nay, disavowed the principle itself," this, to those 
whose ideas Mr. Keble represented, seemed nothing 
short of a "direct disavowal of the sovereignty of 
God. If it be true anywhere that such enactments 
are forced on the legislature by public opinion, is 
Apostasy too hard a word to describe the temper of 
such a nation ? " The sermon was a call to face in 
earnest a changed state of things, full of immediate 
and pressing danger; to consider how it was to be 
met by Christians and Churchmen, and to watch 
motives and tempers. "Surely it will be no un- 
worthy principle if any man is more circumspect in 
his behaviour, more watchful and fearful of himself, 
more earnest in his petitions for spiritual aid, from a 
dread of disparaging the holy name of the English 
Church in her hour of peril by his own personal fault 
and negligence. As to those who, either by station 
or temper, feel themselves more deeply interested, 
they cannot be too careful in reminding themselves 
that one chief danger in times of change and excite- 
ment arises from their tendency to engross the whole 
mind. Public concerns, ecclesiastical or civil, will prove 
indeed ruinous to those who permit them to occupy 
all their care and thought, neglecting or undervaluing 


ordinary duties, more especially those of a devotional 
kind. These cautions being duly observed, I do not 
see how any person can devote himself too entirely to 
the cause of the Apostolic Church in these realms. 
There may be, as far as he knows, but a very few to 
sympathise with him. He may have to wait long, 
and very likely pass out of this world, before he see 
any abatement in the triumph of disorder and irre- 
ligion. But, if he be consistent, he possesses to the 
utmost the personal consolations of a good Christian ; 
and as a true Churchman, he has the encouragement 
which no other cause in the world can impart in the 
same degree : he is calmly, soberly, demonstrably sure 
that, sooner or later, his will be the winning side, and 
that the victory will be complete, universal, eternal." 

But if Mr. Keble's sermon was the first word of the 
movement, its first step was taken in a small meeting 
of friends, at Mr. Hugh James Rose's parsonage at 
Hadleigh, in Suffolk, between the 25th and the 29th 
of the same July. At this little gathering, the ideas 
and anxieties which for some time past had filled the 
thoughts of a number of earnest Churchmen, and had 
brought them into communication with one another, 
came to a head, and issued in the determination to 
move. Mr. Rose, a man of high character and dis- 
tinction in his day, who had recently started the 
British Magazine, as an organ of Church teaching 
and opinion, was the natural person to bring about 
such a meeting. 1 It was arranged that a few repre- 

1 rainier, Narrative, 1843 (republished 1883), pp. 5, 18. 


sentative men, or as many as were able, should meet 
towards the end of July at Hadleigh Rectory. They 
were men in full agreement on the main questions, 
but with great differences in temperament and habits 
of thought. Mr. Rose was the person of most author- 
ity, and next to him, Mr. Palmer ; and these, with Mr. 
A. Perceval, formed as it were the right wing of the 
little council. Their Oxford allies were the three 
Oriel men, Mr. Keble, Mr. Froude, and Mr. Newman, 
now fresh from his escape from death in a foreign 
land, and from the long solitary musings in his Medi- 
terranean orange-boat, full of joyful vigour and ready 
for enterprise and work. 1 In the result, Mr. Keble 
and Mr. Newman were not present, but they were in 
active correspondence with the others. 2 From this 
meeting resulted the Tracts for the Times, and the 
agitation connected with them. 

These friends were all devoted Churchmen, but, as 
has been said, each had his marked character, not only 
as a man but as a Churchman. The most important 
among them was as yet the least prominent. Two of 
them were men of learning, acquainted with the great 
world of London, and who, with all their zeal, had 
some of the caution which comes of such experience. 
At the time, the most conspicuous was Mr. Hugh 
James Rose. 

Mr. Rose was a man whose name and whose influ- 

1 Palmer (1883), pp. 40, 43, "June 1833, when he joined us 
at Oxford." 

2 See Palmer's account (1883), pp. 45-47, and (1843), PP- 6, 7. 


ence, as his friends thought, have been overshadowed 
and overlooked in the popular view of the Church 
revival. It owed to him, they held, not only its first 
impulse, but all that was best and most hopeful in it ; 
and when it lost him, it lost its wisest and ablest guide 
and inspirer. It is certainly true that when that revival 
began he was a much more distinguished and important 
person than any of the other persons interested in it. 
As far as could be seen at the time, he was the most 
accomplished divine and teacher in the English Church. 
He was a really learned man. He had the intellect 
and energy and literary skill to use his learning. He 
was a man of singularly elevated and religious char- 
acter ; he had something of the eye and temper of a 
statesman, and he had already a high position. He 
was profoundly loyal to the Church, and keenly inter- 
ested in whatever affected its condition and its fortunes. 
As early as 1825 he had in some lectures at Cambridge 
called the attention of English Churchmen to the state 
of religious thought and speculation in Germany, and 
to the mischiefs likely to react on English theology 
from the rationalising temper and methods which had 
supplanted the old Lutheran teaching ; and this had 
led to a sharp controversy with Mr. Pusey, as he was 
then, who thought that Mr. Rose 1 had both exaggerated 
the fact itself and had not adequately given the historical 

1 ' ' Mr. Rose . . . was the one commanding figure and very 
lovable man, that the frightened and discomfited Church people 
were now rallying round. Few people have left so distinct an im- 
pression of themselves as this gentleman. For many years after, 
when he was no more, and Newman had left Rose's standpoint far 


account of it. He had the prudence, but not the back- 
wardness, of a man of large knowledge, and consider- 
able experience of the world. More alive to difficulties 
and dangers than his younger associates, he showed 
his courage and his unselfish earnestness in his frank 
sympathy with them, daring and outspoken as they 
were, and in his willingness to share with them the 
risks of an undertaking of which no one knew better 
than he what were likely to be the difficulties. He 
certainly was a person who might be expected to have 
a chief part in directing anything with which he was 
connected. His countenance and his indirect influ- 
ence were very important elements, both in the stirring 
of thought which led to the Hadleigh resolutions, and 
in giving its form to what was then decided upon. 
But his action in the movement was impeded by his 
failure in health, and cut short by his early death, 
January 1839. How he would have influenced the 
course of things if he had lived, it is not now easy to 
say. He must have been reckoned with as one of 
the chiefs. He would have been opposed to anything 
that really tended towards Rome. But there is no 
reason to think that he would have shrunk from any 
step only because it was bold. He had sympathy for 
courage and genius, and he had knowledge and 

behind, he could never speak of him or think of him without re- 
newed tenderness" (Mr. T. Mozley, Reminiscences, i. 308). 

In November 1838, shortly before Mr. Rose's death, Mr. New- 
man had dedicated a volume of sermons to him — "who, when 
hearts were failing, bade us stir up the gift that was in us, and 
betake ourselves to our true mother" {Parochial Sermons, vol. iv. ) 


authority which would have commanded respect for 
his judgment and opinion. But it is too much to say 
either that the movement could not have been without 
him, or that it was specially his design and plan, or 
that he alone could have given the impulse which led 
to it ; though it seemed at one time as if he was to be 
its leader and chief. Certainly he was the most valu- 
able and the most loyal of its early auxiliaries. 

Another coadjutor, whose part at the time also 
seemed rather that of a chief, was Mr. William 
Palmer, of Worcester College. He had been educated 
at Trinity College, Dublin, but he had transferred his 
home to Oxford, both in the University and the city. 
He was a man of exact and scholastic mind, well 
equipped at all points in controversial theology, strong 
in clear theories and precise definitions, familiar with 
objections current in the schools and with the answers 
to -them, and well versed in all the questions, argu- 
ments, and authorities belonging to the great debate 
with Rome. He had definite and well-arranged ideas 
about the nature and office of the Church ; and, from 
his study of the Roman controversy, he had at 
command the distinctions necessary to discriminate 
between things which popular views confused, and 
to protect the doctrines characteristic of the Church 
from being identified with Romanism. Especially 
he had given great attention to the public devotional 
language and forms of the Church, and had' produced 
by far the best book in the English language on the 
history and significance of the offices of the English 


Church — the Origines Liturgicce, published at the 
University Press in 1832. It was a book to give a 
man authority with divines and scholars ; and among 
those with whom at this time he acted no one had so 
compact and defensible a theory, even if it was some- 
what rigid and technical, of the peculiar constitution of 
the English Church as Mr. Palmer. With the deepest 
belief in this theory, he saw great dangers threaten- 
ing, partly from general ignorance and looseness of 
thought, partly from antagonistic ideas and principles 
only too distinct and too popular ; and he threw all 
his learning and zeal on the side of those who, like 
himself, were alive to those dangers, and were pre- 
pared for a great effort to counteract them. 

The little company which met at Hadleigh Rectory, 
from 25th to 29th July 1833, met — as other knots of 
men have often met, to discuss a question or a policy, 
or to found an association, or a league, or a news- 
paper — to lay down the outlines of some practical 
scheme of work ; but with little foresight of the ven- 
ture they were making, or of the momentous issues 
which depended on their meeting. Later on, when con- 
troversy began, it became a favourite rhetorical device 
to call it by the ugly name of a " conspiracy." Cer- 
tainly Froude called it so, and Mr. Palmer; and Mr. 
Perceval wrote a narrative to answer the charge. It 
was a "conspiracy," as any other meeting would be of 
men with an object which other men dislike. 

Of the Oriel men, only Froude went to Hadleigh. 
Keble and Newman were both absent, but in close 


correspondence with the others. Their plans had not 
taken any definite shape ; but they were ready for any 
sacrifice and service, and they were filled with wrath 
against the insolence of those who thought that the 
Church was given over into their hands, and against 
the apathy and cowardice of those who let her enemies 
have their way. Yet with much impatience and many 
stern determinations in their hearts, they were all of 
them men to be swayed by the judgment and experience 
of their friends. 

The state of mind under which the four friends met 
at the Hadleigh conference has been very distinctly 
and deliberately recorded by all of them. Churchmen 
in our days hardly realise what the face of things then 
looked like to men who, if they felt deeply, were no 
mere fanatics or alarmists, but sober and sagacious 
observers, not affected by mere cries, but seeing 
clearly beneath the surface of things their certain 
and powerful tendencies. " We felt ourselves," writes 
Mr. Palmer some years afterwards, 1 "assailed by 
enemies from without and foes within. Our Prelates 
insulted and threatened by Ministers of State. In 
Ireland ten bishoprics suppressed. We were advised 
to feel thankful that a more sweeping measure had not 
been adopted. What was to come next ? . . . Was 
the same principle of concession to popular clamour 
... to be exemplified in the dismemberment of the 

1 Narrative of Events connected with the publication of Tracts 
for the Times, by W. Palmer (published 1843, republished 1883), 
pp. 96-100 (abridged). 



English Church? . . . We were overwhelmed with 
pamphlets on Church reform. Lord Henley, brother- 
in-law of Sir Robert Peel, Dr. Burton, and others of 
name and influence led the way. Dr. Arnold of 
Rugby ventured to propose that all sects should be 
united by Act of Parliament with the Church of 
England. Reports, apparently well founded, were 
prevalent that some of the Prelates were favourable 
to alterations in the Liturgy. Pamphlets were in wide 
circulation recommending the abolition of the Creeds 
(at least in public worship), especially urging the ex- 
pulsion of the Athanasian Creed ; the removal of all 
mention of the Blessed Trinity; of the doctrine of 
baptismal regeneration ; of the practice of absolution. 
We knew not to what quarter to look for support. 
A Prelacy threatened and apparently intimidated ; a 
Government making its power subservient to agi- 
tators, who avowedly sought the destruction of the 
Church. . . . And, worst of all, no principle in the 
public mind to which we could appeal', an utter 
ignorance of all rational grounds of attachment to 
the Church ; an oblivion of its spiritual character, as 
an institution not of man but of God ; the grossest 
Erastianism most widely prevalent, especially amongst 
all classes of politicians. There was in all this enough 
to appal the stoutest heart ; and those who can recall 
the feeling of those days will at once remember the 
deep depression into which the Church had fallen, and 
the gloomy forebodings universally prevalent." 

" Before the spirit and temper of those who met at 


the conference is condemned as extravagant," writes 
Mr. Perceval in 1842, 1 "let the reader call to mind 
what was then actually the condition as well as the 
prospect of the Church and nation : an agrarian and 
civic insurrection against the bishops and clergy, and 
all who desired to adhere to the existing institutions of 
the country ; the populace goaded on, openly by the 
speeches, covertly (as was fully believed at the time) 
by the paid emissaries of the ministers of the Crown ; 
the chief of those ministers in his place in Parliament 
bidding the bishops ' set their house in order' ; the mob 
taking him at his word, and burning to the ground the 
palace of the Bishop of Bristol, with the public build- 
ings of the city, while they shouted the Premier's name 
in triumph on the ruins." The pressing imminence of 
the danger is taken for granted by the calmest and 
most cautious of the party, Mr. Rose, in a letter of 
February 1833. "That something is requisite, is 
certain. The only thing is, that whatever is done 
ought to be quickly done, for the danger is immediate, 
and I should have little fear if I thought that we 
could stand for ten or fifteen years as we are." 2 In the 
Apologia Cardinal Newman recalls what was before 
him in those days. "The Whigs had come into 
power ; Lord Grey had told the bishops to ' set their 
house in order,' and some of the prelates had been 
insulted and threatened in the streets of London. 

1 Collection of Papers connected with the Theological Movement 
of 1833, by A. P. Perceval (1842), p. 25. 

2 Palmer's Narrative (1833), p. 101. 


The vital question was, How were we to keep the 
Church from being Liberalised ? There was so much 
apathy on the subject in some quarters, such imbecile 
alarm in others ; the true principles of Churchmanship 
seemed so radically decayed, and there was such dis- 
traction in the councils of the clergy. The Bishop of 
London of the day, an active and open-hearted man, 
had been for years engaged in diluting the high ortho- 
doxy of the Church by the introduction of the Evan- 
gelical body into places of influence and trust. He 
had deeply offended men who agreed with myself by 
an off-hand saying (as it was reported) to the effect 
that belief in the apostolical succession had gone out 
with the Non-jurors. ' We can count you] he said to 
some of the gravest and most venerated persons of the 
old school. ... I felt affection for my own Church, 
but not tenderness : I felt dismay at her prospects, 
anger and scorn at her do-nothing perplexity. I 
thought that if Liberalism once got a footing within 
her, it was sure of victory in the event. I saw that 
Reformation principles were powerless to rescue her. 
As to leaving her, the thought never crossed my 
imagination : still I ever kept before me that there 
was something greater than the Established Church, 
and that that was the Church Catholic and Apostolic, 
set up from the beginning, of which she was but the 
local presence and organ. She was nothing unless 
she was this. She must be dealt with strongly or 
she would be lost. There was need of a second 


" If / thought that ive could stand ten or fifteen 
years as we are, I should have little fear," said Mr. 
Rose. He felt that, if only he could secure a respite, 
he had the means and the hope of opening the eyes 
of Churchmen. They were secure and idle from long 
prosperity, and now they were scared and perplexed 
by the suddenness of an attack for which they were 
wholly unprepared. But he had confidence in his own 
convictions. He had around him ability and zeal, in 
which he had the best reason to trust. He might 
hope, if he had time, to turn the tide. But this time 
to stand to arms was just what he had not. The 
danger, he felt, was upon him. He could not wait. 
So he acquiesced in an agitation which so cautious and 
steady a man would otherwise hardly have chosen. 
" That something must be done is certain. The only 
thing is, that whatever is done ought to be quickly 
done." Nothing can show more forcibly the immi- 
nence and pressure of the crisis than words like these, 
not merely from Froude and his friends, but from such 
a man as Mr. Hugh James Rose. 

" Something must be done," but what ? This was 
not so easy to say. It was obvious that men must act 
in concert, and must write ; but beyond these general 
points, questions and difficulties arose. The first 
idea that suggested itself at Hadleigh was a form of 
association, which w r ould have been something like the 
English Church Union or the Church Defence Asso- 
ciation of our days. It probably was Mr. Palmer's 
idea ; and for some time the attempt to carry it into 


effect was followed up at Oxford. Plans of " Associa- 
tion " were drawn up and rejected. The endeavour 
brought out differences of opinion — differences as to 
the rightness or the policy of specific mention of 
doctrines ; differences as to the union of Church and 
State, on the importance of maintaining which, as 
long as possible, Mr. Newman sided with Mr. Palmer 
against Mr. Keble's more uncompromising view. A 
" third formulary " was at length adopted. " Events," 
it said, " have occurred within the last few years calcu- 
lated to inspire the true members and friends of the 
Church with the deepest uneasiness." It went on to 
notice that political changes had thrown power into the 
hands of the professed enemies of the Church as an 
establishment ; but it was not merely as an establish- 
ment that it was in most serious danger. " Every one," 
it says, " who has become acquainted with the litera- 
ture of the day, must have observed the sedulous 
attempts made in various quarters to reconcile mem- 
bers of the Church to alterations in its doctrines and 
discipline. Projects of change, which include the 
annihilation of our Creeds and the removal of 
doctrinal statements incidentally contained in our 
worship, have been boldly and assiduously put forth. 
Our services have been subjected to licentious criticism, 
with the view of superseding some of them and of 
entirely remodelling others. The very elementary 
principles of our ritual and discipline have been rudely 
questioned ; our apostolical polity has been ridiculed 
and denied." The condition of the times made these 


things more than ordinarily alarming, and the pressing 
danger was urged as a reason for the formation, by 
members of the Church in various parts of the king- 
dom, of an association on a few broad principles of 
union for the defence of the Church. "They feel 
strongly," said the authors of the paper, " that no fear 
of the appearance of forwardness should dissuade 
them from a design, which seems to be demanded of 
them by their affection towards that spiritual com- 
munity to which they owe their hopes of the world to 
come, and by a sense of duty to that God and Saviour 
who is its Founder and Defender." But the plan of 
an Association, or of separate. Associations, which was 
circulated in the autumn of 1833, came to nothing. 
"Jealousy was entertained of it in high quarters." 
Froude objected to any association less wide than the 
Church itself. Newman had a horror of committees 
and meetings and great people in London. And thus, 
in spite of Mr. Palmer's efforts, favoured by a certain 
number of influential and dignified friends, the Asso- 
ciation would not work. But the stir about it was not 
without result. Mr. Palmer travelled about the country 
with the view of bringing the state of things before the 
clergy. In place of the Association, an Address to 
the Archbishop of Canterbury was resolved upon. It 
was drawn up by Mr. Palmer, who undertook the 
business of circulating it. In spite of great difficulties 
and trouble — of the alarm of friends like Mr. Rose, 
who was afraid that it would cause schism in the 
Church ; of the general timidity of the dignified 


clergy ; of the distrust and the crotchets of others ; 
of the coldness of the bishops and the opposition of 
some of them — it was presented with the signatures of 
some 7000 clergy to the Archbishop in February 1834. 
It bore the names, among others, of Dr. Christopher 
"Wordsworth, Master of Trinity ; Dr. Gilbert, of Brase- 
nose College ; Dr. Faussett, and Mr. Keble. And 
this was not all. A Lay Address followed. There 
were difficulties about the first form proposed, which 
was thought to say too much about the doctrine and 
discipline of the Church ; and it was laid aside for one 
with more vague expressions about the " consecration 
of the State," and the practical benefits of the Estab- 
lished Church. In this form it was signed by 230,000 
heads of families, and presented to the Archbishop in 
the following May. " From these two events," writes 
Mr. Perceval in 1842, "we may date the commence- 
ment of the turn of the tide, which had threatened to 
overwhelm our Church and our religion." 1 There 
can, at any rate, be little doubt that as regards the 
external position of the Church in the country, this 
agitation was a success. It rallied the courage of 
Churchmen, and showed that they were stronger and 
more resolute than their enemies thought. The 
revolutionary temper of the times had thrown all 
Churchmen on the Conservative side ; and these 
addresses were partly helped by political Conserva- 
tism, and also reacted in its favour. 

Some of the Hadleigh friends would probably have 
1 Collection of Papers, p. 12. 


been content to go on in this course, raising and keep- 
ing alive a strong feeling in favour of things as they 
were, creating a general sympathy with the Church, and 
confidence in the peculiar excellency of its wise and 
sober institutions, sedulously but cautiously endeavour- 
ing to correct popular mistakes about them, and to 
diffuse a sounder knowledge and a sounder tone of 
religious feeling. This is what Mr. H. J. Rose would 
have wished, only he felt that he could not insure the 
" ten or fifteen years " which he wanted to work this 
gradual change. Both he and Mr. Palmer would have 
made London, to use a military term, their base of 
operations. The Oriel men, on the other hand, thought 
that " Universities are the natural centres of intellectual 
movements " ; they were for working more spon- 
taneously in the freedom of independent study ; they 
had little faith in organisation ; " living movements," 
they said, " do not come of committees." But at Had- 
leigh it was settled that there was writing to be done, 
in some way or other ; and on this, divergence of 
opinion soon showed itself, both as to the matter and 
the tone of what was to be written. 

For the writers of real force, the men of genius, 
were the three Oriel men, with less experience, at that 
time, with less extensive learning, than Mr. Rose and 
Mr. Palmer. But they were bolder and keener 
spirits ; they pierced more deeply into the real con- 
dition and prospects of the times ; they were not 
disposed to smooth over and excuse what they thought 
hollow and untrue, to put up with decorous compro- 


mises and half-measures, to be patient towards apathy, 
negligence, or insolence. They certainly had more in 
them of the temper of warfare. We know from their 
own avowals that a great anger possessed them, that 
they were indignant at the sacred idea of the Church 
being lost and smothered by selfishness and stupidity ; 
they were animated by the spirit which makes men 
lose patience with abuses and their apologists, and 
gives them no peace till they speak out. Mr. Newman 
felt that, though associations and addresses might be 
very well, what the Church and the clergy and the 
country wanted was plain speaking; and that plain 
speaking could not be got by any papers put forth as 
joint manifestoes, or with the revision and sanction of 
" safe " and "judicious " advisers. It was necessary to 
write, and to write as each man felt: and he deter- 
mined that each man should write and speak for him- 
self, though working in concert and sympathy with 
others towards the supreme end — the cause and 
interests of the Church. 

And thus were born the Tracts for the Times} 
For a time Mr. Palmer's line and Mr. Newman's line 
ran on side by side ; but Mr. Palmer's plan had soon 
done all that it could do, important as that was ; it 
gradually faded out of sight, and the attention of all 
who cared for, or who feared or who hated the move- 
ment, was concentrated on the "Oxford Tracts." 
They were the watchword and the symbol of an 

1 "That portentous birth of time, the Tracts for the Times." — 
Mozley, Remin. i. 311. 


enterprise which all soon felt to be a remarkable one — 
remarkable, if in nothing else, in the form in which it 
was started. Great changes and movements have 
been begun in various ways ; in secret and under- 
ground communications, in daring acts of self-devo- 
tion or violence, in the organisation of an institution, 
in the persistent display of a particular temper and set 
of habits, especially in the form of a stirring and 
enthralling eloquence, in popular preaching, in fierce 
appeals to the passions. But though tracts had 
become in later times familiar instruments of religious 
action, they had, from the fashion of using them, 
become united in the minds of many with rather dis- 
paraging associations. The pertinacity of good ladies 
who pressed them on chance strangers, and who 
extolled their efficacy as if it was that of a quack 
medicine, had lowered the general respect for them. 
The last thing that could have been thought of was a 
great religious revolution set in motion by tracts and 
leaflets, and taking its character and name from them. 
But the ring of these early Tracts was something 
very different from anything of the kind yet known in 
England. They were clear, brief, stern appeals to con- 
science and reason, sparing of words, utterly without 
rhetoric, intense in purpose. They were like the short, 
sharp, rapid utterances of men in pain and danger and 
pressing emergency. The first one gave the keynote 
of the series. Mr. Newman " had out of his own head 
begun the Tracts " : he wrote the opening one in a 
mood which he has himself described. He was in the 


"exultation of health restored and home regained": 
he felt, he says, an "exuberant and joyous energy 
which he never had before or since " ; " his health 
and strength had come back to him with such a re- 
bound " that some of his friends did not know him. 
" I had the consciousness that I was employed in that 
work which I had been dreaming about, and which I 
felt to be so momentous and inspiring. I had a 
supreme confidence in our cause ; we were upholding 
that primitive Christianity which was delivered for all 
time by the early teachers of the Church, and which 
was registered and attested in the Anglican formu- 
laries and by the Anglican divines. That ancient 
religion had well-nigh faded out of the land through 
the political changes of the last 150 years, and it must 
be restored. It would be, in fact, a second Reforma- 
tion — a better Reformation, for it would return, not 
to the sixteenth century, but to the seventeenth. No 
time was to be lost, for the Whigs had come to do 
their worst, and the rescue might come too late. 
Bishoprics were already in course of suppression ; 
Church property was in course of confiscation ; sees 
would be soon receiving unsuitable occupants. We 
knew enough to begin preaching, and there was no 
one else to preach. I felt," he goes on, 1 with a 
characteristic recollection of his own experience when 
he started on his voyage with Froude in the Hermes, 
" as on a vessel, which first gets under weigh, and then 
clears out the deck, and stores away luggage and live 

1 Froude, Remains, i. 265. 


stock into their proper receptacles." The first three 
Tracts bear the date of 9th September 1833. They 
were the first public utterance of the movement. The 
opening words of this famous series deserve to be 
recalled. They are new to most of the present 


Fellow-Labourers, — I am but one of yourselves — 
a Presbyter ; and therefore I conceal my name, lest I 
should take too much on myself by speaking in my own 
person. Yet speak I must ; for the times are very evil, 
yet no one speaks against them. 

Is not this so ? Do not we "look one upon another," 
yet perform nothing ? Do we not all confess the peril 
into which the Church is come, yet sit still each in his 
own retirement, as if mountains and seas cut off brother 
from brother ? Therefore suffer me, while I try to draw 
you forth from those pleasant retreats, which it has been 
our blessedness hitherto to enjoy, to contemplate the 
condition and prospects of our Holy Mother in a practical 
way ; so that one and all may unlearn that idle habit, 
which has grown upon us, of owning the state of things 
to be bad, yet doing nothing to remedy it. 

Consider a moment. Is it fair, is it dutiful, to suffer 
our bishops to stand the brunt of the battle without 
doing our part to support them ? Upon them comes 
" the care of all the Churches. 1 ' This cannot be helped ; 


indeed it is their glory. Not one of us would wish in 
the least to deprive them of the duties, the toils, the re- 
sponsibilities of their high office. And, black event as 
it would be for the country, yet (as far as they are con- 
cerned) we could not wish them a more blessed termina- 
tion of their course than the spoiling of their goods and 

To them then we willingly and affectionately relinquish 
their high privileges and honours ; we encroach not upon 
the rights of the SUCCESSORS OF THE APOSTLES ; we 
touch not their sword and crozier. Yet surely we may 
be their shield-bearers in the battle without offence ; and 
by our voice and deeds be to them what Luke and 
Timothy were to St. Paul. 

Now then let me come at once to the subject which 
leads me to address you. Should the Government and 
the Country so far forget their God as to cast off the 
Church, to deprive it of its temporal honours and 
substance, on what will you rest the claim of respect and 
attention which you make upon your flocks ? Hitherto 
you have been upheld by your birth, your education, 
your wealth, your connexions ; should these secular 
advantages cease, on what must Christ's Ministers de- 
pend ? Is not this a serious practical question ? We 
know how miserable is the state of religious bodies not 
supported by the State. Look at the Dissenters on all 
sides of you, and you will see at once that their Minis- 
ters, depending simply upon the people, become the 
creatures of the people. Are you content that this 
should be your case ? Alas ! can a greater evil befall 
Christians, than for their teachers to be guided by them, 
instead of guiding? How can we "hold fast the form 


of sound words," and "keep that which is committed 
to our trust," if our influence is to depend simply on 
our popularity ? Is it not our very office to oppose 
the world ? Can we then allow ourselves to court it ? 
to preach smooth things and prophesy deceits ? to make 
the way of life easy to the rich and indolent, and to 
bribe the humbler classes by excitements and strong 
intoxicating doctrine ? Surely it must not be so ; — and 
the question recurs, on what are we to rest our authority 
when the State deserts us ? 

Christ has not left His Church without claim of its 
own upon the attention of men. Surely not. Hard 
Master He cannot be, to bid us oppose the world, yet 
give us no credentials for so doing. There are some 
who rest their divine mission on their own unsupported 
assertion ; others, who rest it upon their popularity ; 
others, on their success ; and others, who rest it upon 
their temporal distinctions. This last case has, perhaps, 
been too much our own ; I fear we have neglected 
the real ground on which our authority is built — OUR 


We have been born, not of blood, nor of the will of 
the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. The Lord 
Jesus Christ gave His Spirit to His Apostles ; they in 
turn laid their hands on those who should succeed them 5 
and these again on others ; and so the sacred gift has 
been handed down to our present bishops, who have 
appointed us as their assistants, and in some sense re- 

Now every one of us believes this. I know that some 
will at first deny they do ; still they do believe it. Only, 
it is not sufficiently, practically impressed on their minds. 



They do believe it ; for it is the doctrine of the Ordina- 
tion Service, which they have recognised as truth in the 
most solemn season of their lives. In order, then, not 
to prove, but to remind and impress, I entreat your 
attention to the words used when you were made 
ministers of Christ's Church. 

The office of Deacon was thus committed to you : 
" Take thou authority to execute the office of a Deacon 
in the Church of God committed unto thee : In the 
name, etc." 

And the Priesthood thus : 

" Receive the Holy Ghost, for the office and work of a 
Priest, in the Church of God, now committed unto thee 
by the imposition of our hands. Whose sins thou dost 
forgive, they are forgiven ; and whose sins thou dost 
retain, they are retained. And be thou a faithful dis- 
penser of the Word of God, and of His Holy Sacra- 
ments : In the name, etc." 

These, I say, were words spoken to us, and received 
by us, when we were brought nearer to God than at any 
other time of our lives. I know the grace of ordination 
is contained in the laying on of hands, not in any form 
of words ; — yet in our own case (as has ever been usual 
in the Church) words of blessing have accompanied the 
act. Thus we have confessed before God our belief 
that the bishop who ordained us gave us the Holy 
Ghost, gave us the power to bind and to loose, to ad- 
minister the Sacraments, and to preach. Now how is 
he able to give these great gifts ? Whence is his right ? 
Are these words idle (which would be taking God's 
name in vain), or do they express merely a wish (which 
surely is very far below their meaning), or do they not 


rather indicate that the speaker is conveying a gift ? 
Surely they can mean nothing short of this. But whence, 
I ask, his right to do so ? Has he any right, except as 
having received the power from those who consecrated 
him to be a bishop ? He could not give what he had 
never received. It is plain then that he but tratisfnits ; 
and that the Christian Ministry is a succession. And if 
we trace back the power of ordination from hand to 
hand, of course we shall come to the Apostles at last. 
We know we do, as a plain historical fact ; and there- 
fore all we, who have been ordained clergy, in the very 
form of our ordination acknowledged the doctrine of the 

And for the same reason, we must necessarily consider 
none to be really ordained who have not thus been 
ordained. For if ordination is a divine ordinance, it 
must be necessary ; and if it is not a divine ordinance, 
how dare we use it ? Therefore all who use it, all of 
us, must consider it necessary. As well might we 
pretend the Sacraments are not necessary to salvation, 
while we make use of the offices in the Liturgy ; for 
when God appoints means of grace, they are the means. 

I do not see how any one can escape from this plain 
view of the subject, except (as I have already hinted) by 
declaring that the words do not mean all that they say. 
But only reflect what a most unseemly time for random 
words is that in which ministers are set apart for their 
office. Do we not adopt a Liturgy in order to hinder 
inconsiderate idle language, and shall we, in the most 
sacred of all services, write down, subscribe, and use 
again and again forms of speech which have not been 
weighed, and cannot be taken strictly ? 


Therefore, my dear brethren, act up to your profes- 
sions. Let it not be said that you have neglected a gift ; 
for if you have the Spirit of the Apostles on you, surely 
this is a great gift. " Stir up the gift of God which is in 
you." Make much of it. Show your value of it. Keep 
it before your minds as an honourable badge, far higher 
than that secular respectability, or cultivation, or polish, 
or learning, or rank, which gives you a hearing with the 
many. Tell them of your gift. The times will soon 
drive you to do this, if you mean to be still anything. 
But wait not for the times. Do not be compelled, by 
the world's forsaking you, to recur as if unwillingly to 
the high source of your authority. Speak out now, 
before you are forced, both as glorying in your privilege 
and to insure your rightful honour from your people. 
A notion has gone abroad that they can take away your 
power. They think they have given and can take it 
away. They think it lies in the Church property, and 
they know that they have politically the power to con- 
fiscate that property. They have been deluded into 
a notion that present palpable usefulness, producible 
results, acceptableness to your flocks, that these and 
such like are the tests of your divine commission. 
Enlighten them in this matter. Exalt our Holy Fathers 
the bishops, as the representatives of the Apostles, and 
the Angels of the Churches ; and magnify your office, as 
being ordained by them to take part in their Ministry. 

But, if you will not adopt my view of the subject, 
which I offer to you, not doubtingly, yet (I hope) re- 
spectfully, at all events, CHOOSE YOUR SIDE. To remain 
neuter much longer will be itself to take a part. Choose 
your side ; since side you shortly must, with one or other 


party, even though you do nothing. Fear to be of those 
whose line is decided for them by chance circumstances, 
and who may perchance find themselves with the enemies 
of Christ, while they think but to remove themselves 
from worldly politics. Such abstinence is impossible 
in troublous times. He that is not with me is 


While Mr. Palmer was working at the Association 
and the Address, Mr. Newman with his friends was 
sending forth the Tracts, one after another, in rapid 
succession, through the autumn and winter of 1833. 
They were short papers, in many cases mere short 
notes, on the great questions which had suddenly 
sprung into such interest, and were felt to be full 
of momentous consequence, — the true and essential 
nature of the Christian Church, its relation to the 
primitive ages, its authority and its polity and govern- 
ment, the current objections to its claims in England, 
to its doctrines and its services, the length of the 
prayers, the Burial Service, the proposed alterations 
in the Liturgy, the neglect of discipline, the sins and 
corruptions of each branch of Christendom. The 
same topics were enforced and illustrated again and 
again as the series went on ; and then there came 
extracts from English divines, like Bishop Beveridge, 
Bishop Wilson, and Bishop Cosin, and under the title 
" Records of the Church," translations from the early 
Fathers, Ignatius, Justin, Irenoeus, and others. Mr. 
Palmer contributed to one of these papers, and later 


on Mr. Perceval wrote two or three ; but for the 
most part these early Tracts were written by Mr. 
Newman, though Mr. Keble and one or two others 
also helped. Afterwards, other writers joined in the 
series. They were at first not only published with a 
notice that any one might republish them with any 
alterations he pleased, but they were distributed by 
zealous coadjutors, ready to take any trouble in the 
cause. Mr. Mozley has described how he rode about 
Northamptonshire, from parsonage to parsonage, with 
bundles of the Tracts. The Apologia records the 
same story. " I called upon clergy," says the writer, 
"in various parts of the country, whether I was 
acquainted with them or not, and I attended at the 
houses of friends where several of them were from 
time to time assembled. ... I did not care whether 
my visits were made to High Church or Low Church : 
I wished to make a strong pull in union with all who 
were opposed to the principles of Liberalism, whoever 
they might be." He adds that he does not think 
that much came of these visits, or of letters written 
with the same purpose, " except that they advertised 
the fact that a rally in favour of the Church was 

The early Tracts were intended to startle the 
world, and they succeeded in doing so. Their very 
form, as short earnest leaflets, was perplexing; for 
they came, not from the class of religionists who 
usually deal in such productions, but from distin- 
guished University scholars, picked men of a picked 


college ; and from men, too, who as a school were 
the representatives of soberness and self-control in 
religious feeling and language, and whose usual style 
of writing was specially marked by its severe avoid- 
ance of excitement and novelty; the school from 
which had lately come the Christian Year, with its 
memorable motto " In quietness and confide?ice shall 
be your strength." Their matter was equally unusual. 
Undoubtedly they "brought strange things to the 
ears " of their generation. To Churchmen now these 
" strange things " are such familiar commonplaces, 
that it is hard to realise how they should have made 
so much stir. But they were novelties, partly auda- 
cious, partly unintelligible, then. The strong and 
peremptory language of the Tracts, their absence of 
qualifications or explanations, frightened friends like 
Mr. Palmer, who, so far, had no ground to quarrel 
with their doctrine, and he wished them to be dis- 
continued. The story w T ent that one of the bishops, 
on reading one of the Tracts on the Apostolical Suc- 
cession, could not make up his mind whether he held 
the doctrine or not. They fell on a time of profound 
and inexcusable ignorance on the subjects they dis- 
cussed, and they did not spare it. The cry of 
Romanism was inevitable, and was soon raised, though 
there was absolutely nothing in them but had the 
indisputable sanction of the Prayer Book, and of the 
most authoritative Anglican divines. There was no 
Romanism in them, nor anything that showed a 
tendency to it. But custom, and the prevalence of 


other systems and ways, and the interest of later 
speculations, and the slackening of professional reading 
and scholarship in the Church, had made their readers 
forget some of the most obvious facts in Church 
history, and the most certain Church principles ; and 
men were at sea as to what they knew or believed 
on the points on which the Tracts challenged them. 
The scare was not creditable ; it was like the Italian 
scare about cholera with its quarantines and fumiga- 
tions ; but it was natural. The theological knowledge 
and learning were wanting which would have been 
familiar with the broad line of difference between what 
is Catholic and what is specially Roman. There were 
many whose teaching was impugned, for it was really 
Calvinist or Zwinglian, and not Anglican. There 
were hopeful and ambitious theological Liberals, who 
recognised in that appeal to Anglicanism the most 
effective counter- stroke to their own schemes and 
theories. There were many whom the movement 
forced to think, who did not want such addition to 
their responsibilities. It cannot be thought surprising 
that the new Tracts were received with surprise, 
dismay, ridicule, and indignation. But they also at 
once called forth a response of eager sympathy from 
numbers to whom they brought unhoped-for relief 
and light in a day of gloom, of rebuke and blasphemy. 
Mr. Keble, in the preface to his famous assize sermon, 
had hazarded the belief that there were "hundreds, 
nay, thousands of Christians, and that there soon will 
be tens of thousands, unaffectedly anxious to be rightly 


guided " in regard to subjects that concern the Church. 
The belief was soon justified. 

When the first forty-six Tracts were collected into 
a volume towards the end of 1834, the following 
"advertisement" explaining their nature and objects 
was prefixed to it. It is a contemporary and authori- 
tative account of what was the mind of the leaders of 
the movement ; and it has a significance beyond the 
occasion which prompted it. 

The following Tracts were published with the object 
of contributing something towards the practical revival of 
doctrines, which, although held by the great divines of 
our Church, at present have become obsolete with the 
majority of her members, and are withdrawn from public 
view even by the more learned and orthodox few who 
still adhere to them. The Apostolic succession, the 
Holy Catholic Church, were principles of action in the 
minds of our predecessors of the seventeenth century ; 
but, in proportion as the maintenance of the Church has 
been secured by law, her ministers have been under the 
temptation of leaning on an arm of flesh instead of her 
own divinely-provided discipline, a temptation increased 
by political events and arrangements which need not 
here be more than alluded to. A lamentable increase of 
sectarianism has followed ; being occasioned (in addition 
to other more obvious causes), first, by the cold aspect 
which the new Church doctrines have presented to the 
religious sensibilities of the mind, next to their meagre- 
ness in suggesting motives to restrain it from seeking 
out a more influential discipline. Doubtless obedience 
to the law of the land, and the careful maintenance of 


" decency and order " (the topics in usage among us), 
are plain duties of the Gospel, and a reasonable ground 
for keeping in communion with the Established Church ; 
yet, if Providence has graciously provided for our weak- 
ness more interesting and constraining motives, it is a 
sin thanklessly to neglect them ; just as it would be a 
mistake to rest the duties of temperance or justice on the 
mere law of natural religion, when they are mercifully 
sanctioned in the Gospel by the more winning authority 
of our Saviour Christ. Experience has shown the in- 
efficacy of the mere injunctions of Church order, how- 
ever scripturally enforced, in restraining from schism the 
awakened and anxious sinner ; who goes to a dissenting 
preacher "because" (as he expresses it) "he gets good 
from him " : and though he does not stand excused in 
God's sight for yielding to the temptation, surely the 
ministers of the Church are not blameless if, by keeping 
back the more gracious and consoling truths provided 
for the little ones of Christ, they indirectly lead him into 
it. Had he been taught as a child, that the Sacraments, 
not preaching, are the sources of Divine Grace ; that 
the Apostolical ministry had a virtue in it which went 
out over the whole Church, when sought by the prayer 
of faith ; that fellowship with it was a gift and privilege, 
as well as a duty, we could not have had so many 
wanderers from our fold, nor so many cold hearts 
within it. 

This instance may suggest many others of the superior 
influence of an apostolical over a mere secular method 
of teaching. The awakened mind knows its wants, but 
cannot provide for them ; and in its hunger will feed 
upon ashes, if it cannot obtain the pure milk of the 


word. Methodism and Popery are in different ways the 
refuge of those whom the Church stints of the gifts of 
grace ; they are the foster-mothers of abandoned children. 
The neglect of the daily service, the desecration of 
festivals, the Eucharist scantily administered, insubordi- 
nation permitted in all ranks of the Church, orders and 
offices imperfectly developed, the want of societies for 
particular religious objects, and the like deficiencies, lead 
the feverish mind, desirous of a vent to its feelings, and 
a stricter rule of life, to the smaller religious communi- 
ties, to prayer and Bible meetings, and ill-advised in- 
stitutions and societies, on the one hand, on the other, 
to the solemn and captivating services by which Popery 
gains its proselytes. Moreover, the multitude of men 
cannot teach or guide themselves ; and an injunction 
given them to depend on their private judgment, cruel 
in itself, is doubly hurtful, as throwing them on such 
teachers as speak daringly and promise largely, and not 
only aid but supersede individual exertion. 

These remarks may serve as a clue, for those who 
care to pursue it, to the views which have led to the 
publication of the following Tracts. The Church of 
Christ was intended to cope with human nature in all its 
forms, and surely the gifts vouchsafed it are adequate 
for that gracious purpose. There are zealous sons and 
servants of her English branch, who see with sorrow 
that she is defrauded of her full usefulness by particular 
theories and principles of the present age, which interfere 
with the execution of one portion of her commission ; 
and while they consider that the revival of this portion 
of truth is especially adapted to break up existing parties 
in the Church, and to form instead a bond of union 


among all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, 
they believe that nothing but these neglected doctrines, 
faithfully preached, will repress that extension of Popery, 
for which the ever multiplying divisions of the religious 
world are too clearly preparing the way. 

Another publication ought to be noticed, a result 
of the Hadleigh meeting, which exhibited the leading 
ideas of the conference, and especially of the more 
" conservative " members of it. This was a little work 
in question and answer, called the "Churchman's 
Manual," drawn up in part some time before the 
meeting by Mr. Perceval, and submitted to the re- 
vision of Mr. Rose and Mr. Palmer. It was intended 
to be a supplement to the " Church Catechism," as to 
the nature and claims of the Church and its Ministers. 
It is a terse, clear, careful, and, as was inevitable, rather 
dry summary of the Anglican theory, and of the 
position which the English Church holds to the 
Roman Church, and to the Dissenters. It was further 
revised at the conference, and "some important 
suggestions were made by Froude " ; and then Mr. 
Perceval, who had great hopes from the publication, 
and spared himself no pains to make it perfect, sub- 
mitted it for revision and advice to a number of repre- 
sentative Churchmen. The Scotch Bishops whom he 
consulted were warm in approval, especially the vener- 
able and saintly Bishop Jolly ; as were also a number 
of men of weight and authority in England : Judge 
Allan Park, Joshua Watson, Mr. Sikes of Guils- 


borough, Mr. Churton of Crayke, Mr. H. H. Norris, 
Dr. Wordsworth, and Dr. Routh. It was then laid 
before the Archbishop for correction, or, if desirable, 
suppression ; and for his sanction if approved. The 
answer was what might have been expected, that there 
was no objection to it, but that official sanction must 
be declined on general grounds. After all this Mr. 
Perceval not unnaturally claimed for it special import- 
ance. It was really, he observed, the "first Tract," 
systematically put forth, and its preparation " appar- 
ently gave rise " to the series ; and it was the only 
one which received the approval of all immediately 
concerned in the movement. "The care bestowed 
on it," he says, "probably exceeds that which any 
theological publication in the English communion 
received for a long time ; " and further, it shows " that 
the foundation of the movement with which Mr. Rose 
was connected, was laid with all the care and circum- 
spection that reason could well suggest." It appears 
to have had a circulation, but there is no reason to 
think that it had any considerable influence, one way 
or other, on opinion in the Church. When it was 
referred to in after-years by Mr. Perceval in his own 
vindication, it was almost forgotten. More interesting, 
if not more important, Tracts had thrown it into the 



Thus had been started — hurriedly perhaps, yet not 
without counting the cost — a great enterprise, which 
had for its object to rouse the Church from its lethargy, 
and to strengthen and purify religion, by making it 
deeper and more real ; and they who had put their 
hands to the plough were not to look back any more. 
It was not a popular appeal; it addressed itself not to 
the many but to the few ; it sought to inspire and to 
teach the teachers. There was no thought as yet of 
acting on the middle classes, or on the ignorance and 
wretchedness of the great towns, though Newman had 
laid down that the Church must rest on the people, 
and Froude looked forward to colleges of unmarried 
priests as the true way to evangelise the crowds. 
There was no display about this attempt, no eloquence, 
nothing attractive in the way of original speculation or 
sentimental interest. It was suspicious, perhaps too 
suspicious, of the excitement and want of soberness, 
almost inevitable in strong appeals to the masses of 


mankind. It brought no new doctrine, but professed 
to go back to what was obvious and old-fashioned and 
commonplace. It taught people to think less of 
preaching than of what in an age of excitement were 
invidiously called forms — of the sacraments and ser- 
vices of the Church. It discouraged, even to the 
verge of an intended dryness, all that was showy, all 
that in thought or expression or manner it condemned 
under the name of " flash." It laid stress on the exer- 
cise of an inner and unseen self-discipline, and the 
cultivation of the less interesting virtues of industry, 
humility, self- distrust, and obedience. If from its 
writers proceeded works which had impressed people 
— a volume like the Christian Year, poems original in 
their force and their tenderness, like some of those 
in the Lyra Aftostolica, sermons which arrested the 
hearers by their keenness and pathetic undertone — 
the force of all this was not the result of literary 
ambition and effort, but the reflexion, unconscious, 
unsought, of thought and feeling that could not 
otherwise express itself, and that was thrown into 
moulds shaped by habitual refinement and cultivated 
taste. It was from the first a movement from which, 
as much by instinct and temper as by deliberate inten- 
tion, self-seeking in all its forms was excluded. Those 
whom it influenced looked not for great things for 
themselves, nor thought of making a mark in the 

The first year after the Hadleigh meeting (1834) 
passed uneventfully. The various addresses in which 


Mr. Palmer was interested, the election and installa- 
tion of the Duke of Wellington as Chancellor, the 
enthusiasm and hopes called forth by the occasion, 
were public and prominent matters. The Tracts 
were steadily swelling in number ; the busy distribu- 
tion of them had ceased, and they had begun to 
excite interest and give rise to questions. Mr. Palmer, 
who had never liked the Tracts, became more uneasy ; 
yet he did not altogether refuse to contribute to them. 
Others gave their help, among them Mr. Perceval, 
Froude, the two Kebles, and Mr. Newman's friend, a 
layman, Mr. J. Bowden ; some of the younger scholars 
furnished translations from the Fathers ; but the bulk 
and most forcible of the Tracts were still the work of 
Mr. Newman. But the Tracts were not the most 
powerful instruments in drawing sympathy to the 
movement. None but those who remember them can 
adequately estimate the effect of Mr. Newman's four 
o'clock sermons at St. Mary's. 1 The world knows 
them, has heard a great deal about them, has passed 
its various judgments on them. But it hardly realises 
that without those sermons the movement might never 
have gone on, certainly would never have been what 
it was. Even people who heard them continually, and 
felt them to be different from any other sermons, 
hardly estimated their real power, or knew at the time 
the influence which the sermons were having upon 
them. Plain, direct, unornamented, clothed in English 
that was only pure and lucid, free from any faults of 

1 See note at the end of this chapter. 


taste, strong in their flexibility and perfect command 
both of language and thought, they were the expres- 
sion of a piercing and large insight into character and 
conscience and motives, of a sympathy at once most 
tender and most stern with the tempted and the 
wavering, of an absolute and burning faith in God 
and His counsels, in His love, in His judgments, in 
the awful glory of His generosity and His magni- 
ficence. They made men think of the things which 
the preacher spoke of, and not of the sermon or the 
preacher. Since 1828 this preaching had been going 
on at St. Mary's, growing in purpose and directness as 
the years went on, though it could hardly be more 
intense than in some of its earliest examples. While 
men were reading and talking about the Tracts, they 
were hearing the sermons ; and in the sermons they 
heard the living meaning, and reason, and bearing of 
the Tracts, their ethical affinities, their moral standard. 
The sermons created a moral atmosphere, in which 
men judged the questions in debate. It was no dry 
theological correctness and completeness which were 
sought for. No love of privilege, no formal hier- 
archical claims, urged on the writers. What they 
thought in danger, what they aspired to revive and 
save, was the very life of religion, the truth and sub- 
stance of all that makes it the hope of human society. 
But indeed, by this time, out of the little company 
of friends which a common danger and a common 
loyalty to the Church had brought together, one, Mr. 
Newman, had drawn ahead, and was now in the front. 



Unsought for, as the Apologia makes so clear — un- 
sought for, as the contemporary letters of observing 
friends attest — unsought for, as the whole tenor of his 
life has proved — the position of leader in a great crisis 
came to him, because it must come. He was not 
unconscious that, as he had felt in his sickness in 
Sicily, he " had a work to do." But there was shyness 
and self-distrust in his nature as well as energy ; and 
it was the force of genius, and a lofty character, 
and the statesman's eye, taking in and judging 
accurately the whole of a complicated scene, which 
conferred the gifts, and imposed inevitably and 
without dispute the obligations and responsibilities of 
leadership. Dr. Pusey of course was a friend of great 
account, but he was as yet in the background, a 
venerated and rather awful person, from his position 
not mixing in the easy intercourse of common-room 
life, but to be consulted on emergencies. Round Mr. 
Newman gathered, with a curious mixture of freedom, 
devotion, and awe — for, with unlimited power of 
sympathy, he was exacting and even austere in his 
friendships — the best men of his college, either Fellows 
— R. Wilberforce, Thomas Mozley, Frederic Rogers, 
J. F. Christie \ or old pupils — Henry Wilberforce, 
R. F. Wilson, William Froude, Robert Williams, 
S. F. Wood, James Bliss, James Mozley ; and in addi- 
tion some outsiders — Woodgate of St. John's, Isaac 
Williams and Copeland, of his old College, Trinity. 
These, members of his intimate circle, were bound to 
him not merely by enthusiastic admiration and conn- 


dence, but by a tenderness of affection, a mixture of 
the gratitude and reliance of discipleship with the 
warm love of friendship, of which one has to go back 
far for examples, and which has had nothing like it in 
our days at Oxford. And Newman was making his 
mark as a writer. The A Hans , though an imperfect 
book, was one which, for originality and subtlety of 
thought, was something very unlike the usual theo- 
logical writing of the day. There was no doubt of his 
power, and his mind was brimming over with ideas on 
the great questions which were rising into view. It 
was clear to all who knew him that he could speak on 
them as no one else could. 

Towards the end of 1834, and in the course of 
1835, an event happened which had a great and de- 
cisive influence on the character and fortunes of the 
movement. This was the accession to it of Dr. 
Pusey. He had looked favourably on it from the 
first, partly from his friendship with Mr. Newman, 
partly from the workings of his own mind. But he 
had nothing to do with the starting of it, except that 
he early contributed an elaborate paper on " Fasting." 
The Oxford branch of the movement, as distinguished 
from that which Mr. Palmer represented, consisted up 
to 1834 almost exclusively of junior men, personal 
friends of Mr. Newman, and most of them Oriel men. 
Mr. Newman's deep convictions, his fiery enthusiasm, 
had given the Tracts their first stamp and impress, 
and had sent them flying over the country among 
the clergy on his own responsibility. They answered 


their purpose. They led to widespread and some- 
times deep searchings of heart ; to some they seemed 
to speak forth what had been long dormant within 
them, what their minds had unconsciously and 
vaguely thought and longed for ; to some they 
seemed a challenge pregnant with danger. But still 
they were but an outburst of individual feeling and 
zeal, which, if nothing more came of its fragmentary 
displays, might blaze and come to nothing. There 
was nothing yet which spoke outwardly of the con- 
sistency and weight of a serious attempt to influence 
opinion and to produce a practical and lasting effect 
on the generation which was passing. Cardinal New- 
man, in the Apologia, has attributed to Dr. Pusey's 
unreserved adhesion to the cause which the Tracts 
represented a great change in regard to the weight 
and completeness of what was written and done. " Dr. 
Pusey," he writes, " gave us at once a position and a 
name. Without him we should have had no chance, 
especially at the early date of 1834, of making any 
serious resistance to the liberal aggression. But Dr. 
Pusey was a Professor and Canon of Christ Church ; 
he had a vast influence in consequence of his deep 
religious seriousness, the munificence of his charities, 
his Professorship, his family connexions, and his 
easy relations with the University authorities. He 
was to the movement all that Mr. Rose might have 
been, with that indispensable addition, which was 
wanting to_ Mr. Rose, the intimate friendship and the 
familiar daily society of the persons who had com- 


menced it. And he had that special claim on their 
attachment which lies in the living presence of a 
faithful and loyal affectionateness. There was hence- 
forth a man who could be the head and centre of the 
zealous people in every part of the country who were 
adopting the new opinions ; and not only so, but there 
was one who furnished the movement with a front to 
the world, and gained for it a recognition from other 
parties in the University." 1 

This is not too much to say of the effect of Dr. 
Pusey's adhesion. It gave the movement a second 
head, in close sympathy with its original leader, but 
in many ways very different from him. Dr. Pusey 
became, as it were, its official chief in the eyes of the 
world. He became also, in a remarkable degree, a 
guarantee for its stability and steadiness : a guarantee 
that its chiefs knew what they were about, and meant 
nothing but what was for the benefit of the English 
Church. " He was," we read in the Apologia, " a man 
of large designs ; he had a hopeful, sanguine mind ; he 
had no fear of others ; he was haunted by no intel- 
lectual perplexities. ... If confidence in his position 
is (as it is) a first essential in the leader of a party, Dr. 
Pusey had it." An inflexible patience, a serene com- 
posure, a meek, resolute self-possession, was the habit 
of his mind, and never deserted him in the most trying 
days. He never for an instant, as the paragraph wit- 
nesses, wavered or doubted about the position of the 
English Church. 

1 Apologia, p. 136. 


He was eminently, as his friend justly observes, " a 
man of large designs." It is doubtless true, as the 
Apologia goes on to say, that it was due to the place 
which he now took in the movement that great changes 
were made in the form and character of the Tracts. 
To Dr. Pusey's mind, accustomed to large and exhaust- 
ive theological reading, they wanted fulness, complete- 
ness, the importance given by careful arrangement and 
abundant knowledge. It was not for nothing that he 
had passed an apprenticeship among the divines of 
Germany, and been the friend and correspondent of 
Tholuck, Schleiermacher, Ewald, and Sack. He knew 
the meaning of real learning. In controversy it was 
his sledge-hammer and battle-mace, and he had the 
strong and sinewy hand to use it with effect. He 
observed that when attention had been roused to the 
ancient doctrines of the Church by the startling and 
peremptory language of the earlier Tracts, fairness and 
justice demanded that these doctrines should be fully 
and carefully explained and defended against misrepre- 
sentation and mistake. Forgetfulness and ignorance 
had thrown these doctrines so completely into the 
shade that, identified as they were with the best English 
divinity, they now wore the air of amazing novelties ; 
and it was only due to honest inquirers to satisfy them, 
with solid and adequate proof. " Dr. Pusey's influence 
was felt at once. He saw that there ought to be 
more sobriety, more gravity, more careful pains, more 
sense of responsibility in the Tracts and in the whole 
movement." At the end of 1835 Dr. Pusey gave an 


example of what he meant. In place of the " short and 
incomplete papers," such as the earlier Tracts had 
been, Nos. 67, 68, and 69 formed the three parts of 
a closely-printed pamphlet of more than 300 pages. 1 
It was a treatise on Baptism, perhaps the most elaborate 
that has yet appeared in the English language. " It is 
to be regarded," says the advertisement to the second 
volume of the Tracts, " not as an inquiry into a single 
or isolated doctrine, but as a delineation and serious 
examination of a modern system of theology, of exten- 
sive popularity and great speciousness, in its elementary 
and characteristic principles." The Tract on Baptism 
was like the advance of a battery of heavy artillery on 
a field where the battle has been hitherto carried on by 
skirmishing and musketry. It altered the look of things 
and the condition of the fighting. After No. 67 the 
earlier form of the Tracts appeared no more. Except 
two or three reprints from writers like Bishop Wilson, 
the Tracts from No. 70 to No. 90 were either grave and 
carefully worked out essays on some question arising 
out of the discussions of the time, or else those 
ponderous catena of patristic or Anglican divinity, by 
which the historical continuity and Church authority of 
various points of doctrine were established. 

Dr. Pusey was indeed a man of " large designs." 
The vision rose before him of a revived and instructed 
Church, earnest in purpose and strict in life, and of 

1 It swelled in the second edition to 400 pages [in spite of the 
fact that in that edition the historical range of the treatise was 
greatly reduced]. 


a great Christian University roused and quickened to 
a sense of its powers and responsibilities. He thought 
of the enormous advantages offered by its magnificent 
foundations for serious study and the production of 
works for which time and deep learning and continuous 
labour were essential. Such works, in the hands of 
single-minded students, living lives of simplicity and 
hard toil, had in the case of the Portroyalists, the 
Oratorians, and above all, the Benedictines of St. 
Maur, splendidly redeemed the Church of France, in 
otherwise evil days, from the reproach of idleness and 
self-indulgence. He found under his hand men who 
had in them something of the making of students ; and 
he hoped to see college fellowships filled more and 
more by such men, and the' life of a college fellow 
more and more recognised as that of a man to whom 
learning, and especially sacred learning, was his call 
and sufficient object, as pastoral or educational work 
might be the call of others. Where fellowships were 
not to be had, he encouraged such men to stay up in 
Oxford; he took them into his own house; later, he 
tried a kind of hall to receive them. And by way of 
beginning at once, and giving them something to do, 
he planned on a large scale a series of translations and 
also editions of the Fathers. It was announced, with 
an elaborate prospectus, in 1836, under the title, in 
conformity with the usage of the time, which had 
Libraries of Useful Know } ledge, etc., of a Library of 
Fathers of the LLoly Catholic Church anterior to the 
Division of the East and West, under the editorship of 


Dr. Pusey, Mr. Keble, and Mr. Newman. It was 
dedicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and had a 
considerable number of Bishops among its subscribers. 
Down to a very late date, the Library of the Fathers, 
in which Charles Marriott came to take a leading part, 
was a matter of much concern to Dr. Pusey. And to 
bring men together, and to interest them in theological 
subjects, he had evening meetings at his own house, 
where papers were read and discussed. "Some 
persons," writes a gossiping chronicler of the time, 1 
" thought that these meetings were liable to the 
statute, De conventiculis illicitis reprimendis." Some 
important papers were the result of these meetings ; 
but the meetings themselves were irresistibly sleepy, 
and in time they were discontinued. But indefatigable 
and powerful in all these beginnings Dr. Pusey stirred 
men to activity and saw great ground of hope. He 
was prepared for opposition, but he had boundless 
reliance on his friends and his cause. His forecast of 
the future, of great days in store for the Church of 
England, was, not unreasonably, one of great promise. 
Ten years might work wonders. The last fear that 
occurred to him was that within ten years a hopeless 
rift, not of affection but of conviction, would have run 
through that company of friends, and parted irrevo- 
cably their course and work in life. 

1 Recollections of Oxford, by G. V. Cox, p. 278. 


NOTE (z/wfcp. 129). 

The subjoined extracts record the impression made 
by Mr. Newman's preaching on contemporaries well 
qualified to judge, and standing respectively in very 
different relations to the movement. This is the 
judgment of a very close observer, and very inde- 
pendent critic, James Mozley. In an article in the 
Christian Remembrance?', January 1846 (p. 169), 
after speaking of the obvious reasons of Mr. New- 
man's influence, he proceeds : — 

We inquire further, and we find that this influence 
has been of a peculiarly ethical and inward kind ; that 
it has touched the deepest part of our minds, and that 
the great work on which it has been founded is a prac- 
tical, religious one — his Sermons. We speak not from 
our own fixed impression, however deeply felt, but from 
what we have heard and observed everywhere, from the 
natural, incidental, unconscious remarks dropped from 
persons' mouths, and evidently showing what they 
thought and felt. For ourselves, we must say, one of 
Mr. Newman's sermons is to us a marvellous production. 
It has perfect power, and perfect nature ; but the latter 
it is which makes it so great. A sermon of Mr. New- 
man's enters into all our feelings, ideas, modes of viewing 
things. He wonderfully realises a state of mind, enters 
into a difficulty, a temptation, a disappointment, a grief ; 
he goes into the different turns and incidental, un- 
conscious symptoms of a case, with notions which come 
into the head and go out again, and are forgotten, till 
some chance recalls them. . . . To take the first 
instance that happens to occur to us ... we have often 


been struck by the keen way in which he enters into 
a regular tradesman's vice — avarice, fortune-getting, 
amassing capital, and so on. This is not a temper to 
which we can imagine Mr. Newman ever having felt in 
his own mind even the temptation ; but he understands 
it, and the temptation to it, as perfectly as any merchant 
could. No man of business could express it more 
naturally, more pungently, more ex animo. ... So with 
the view that worldly men take of religion, in a certain 
sense, he quite enters into it, and the world's point of 
view : he sees, with a regular worldly man's eye, religion 
vanishing into nothing, and becoming an unreality, while 
the visible system of life and facts, politics and society, 
gets more and more solid and grows upon him. The 
whole influence of the world on the imagination ; the 
weight of example ; the force of repetition ; the way in 
which maxims, rules, sentiments, by being simply sounded 
in the ear from day to day, seem to prove themselves, 
and make themselves believed by being often heard, — 
every part of the easy, natural, passive process by which 
a man becomes a man of the world is entered into, as if 
the preacher were going to justify or excuse him, rather 
than condemn him. Nay, he enters deeply into what 
even scepticism has to say for itself ; he puts himself 
into the infidel's state of mind, in which the world, as a 
great fact, seems to give the lie to all religions, convert- 
ing them into phenomena which counterbalance and 
negative each other, and he goes down into that lowest 
abyss and bottom of things, at which the intellect under- 
cuts spiritual truth altogether. He enters into the 
ordinary common states of mind just in the same way. 
He is most consoling, most sympathetic. He sets before 



persons their own feelings with such truth of detail, such 
natural expressive touches, that they seem not to be 
ordinary states of mind which everybody has, but very 
peculiar ones ; for he and the reader seem to be the 
only two persons in the world that have them in common. 
Here is the point. Persons look into Mr. Newman's 
sermons and see their own thoughts in them. This is, 
after all, what as much as anything gives a book hold 
upon minds. . . . Wonderful pathetic power, that can 
so intimately, so subtilely and kindly, deal with the soul ! 
— and wonderful soul that can be so dealt with. 

Compare with this the judgment pronounced by 
one of quite a different school, the late Principal 
Shairp : — 

Both Dr. Pusey and Mr. Keble at that time were 
quite second in importance to Mr. Newman. The 
centre from which his power went forth was the pulpit 
of St. Mary's, with those wonderful afternoon sermons. 
Sunday after Sunday, year by year, they went on, each 
continuing and deepening the impression produced by 
the last. As the hour interfered with the dinner-hour 
of the Colleges, most men preferred a warm dinner 
without Newman's sermon to a cold one with it ; so the 
audience was not crowded — the large church little more 
than half filled. The service was very simple, no pomp, 
no ritualism ; for it was characteristic of the leading men 
of the movement that they left these things to the 
weaker brethren. Their thoughts, at all events, were 
set on great questions which touched the heart of unseen 
things. About the service, the most remarkable thing 
was the beauty, the silver intonation of Mr. Newman's 


voice as he read the lessons. . . . When he began to 
preach, a stranger was not likely to be much struck. 
Here was no vehemence, no declamation, no show of 
elaborated argument, so that one who came prepared to 
hear " a great intellectual effort " was almost sure to go 
away disappointed. Indeed, we believe that if he had 
preached one of his St. Mary's sermons before a Scotch 
town congregation, they would have thought the preacher 
a " silly body." . . . Those who never heard him might 
fancy that his sermons would generally be about apos- 
tolical succession, or rights of the Church, or against 
Dissenters. Nothing of the kind. You might hear 
him preach for weeks without an allusion to these things. 
What there was of High Church teaching was implied 
rather than enforced. The local, the temporary, and the 
modern were ennobled by the presence of the Catholic 
truth belonging to all ages that pervaded the whole. 
His power showed itself chiefly in the new and un- 
looked-for way in which he touched into life old truths, 
moral or spiritual, which all Christians acknowledge, but 
most have ceased to feel — when he spoke of " unreal 
words," of the " individuality of the soul," of the " in- 
visible world," of a "particular Providence," or again, 
of the "ventures of faith," "warfare the condition of 
victory," " the Cross of Christ the measure of the 
world," " the Church a Home for the lonely." As he 
spoke, how the old truth became new ; how it came 
home with a meaning never felt before ! He laid his 
finger how gently, yet how powerfully, on some inner 
place in the hearer's heart, and told him things about 
himself he had never known till then. Subtlest truths, 
which it would have taken philosophers pages of circum- 


locution and big words to state, were dropt out by the 
way in a sentence or two of the most transparent Saxon. 
What delicacy of style, yet what strength ! how simple, 
yet how suggestive ! how homely, yet how refined ! how 
penetrating, yet how tender-hearted ! If now and then 
there was a forlorn undertone which at the time seemed 
inexplicable, you might be perplexed at the drift of what 
he said, but you felt all the more drawn to the speaker. 
. . . After hearing these sermons you might come away 
still not believing the tenets peculiar to the High Church 
system ; but you would be harder than most men, if you 
did not feel more than ever ashamed of coarseness, 
selfishness, worldliness, if you did not feel the things of 
faith brought closer to the soul. — John Kebk, by J. 
C. Shairp, Professor of Humanity, St. Andrews (1866), 
pp. 12-17. 

I venture to add the judgment of another contem- 
porary, on the effect of this preaching, from the 
Reminiscences of Sir F. Doyle, p. 145 : — 

That great man's extraordinary genius drew all those 
within his sphere, like a magnet, to attach themselves 
to him and his doctrines. Nay, before he became a 
Romanist, what we may call his mesmeric influence 
acted not only on his Tractarian adherents, but even in 
some degree on outsiders like myself. Whenever I was 
at Oxford, I used to go regularly on Sunday afternoons 
to listen to his sermon at St. Mary's, and I have never 
heard such preaching since. I do not know whether it 
is a mere fancy of mine, or whether those who know 
him better will accept and endorse my belief, that one 
element of his wonderful power showed itself after this 


fashion. He always began as if he had determined to 
set forth his idea of the truth in the plainest and simplest 
language— language, as men say, " intelligible to the 
meanest understanding." But his ardent zeal and fine 
poetical imagination were not thus to be controlled. As 
I hung upon his words, it seemed to me as if I could 
trace behind his will, and pressing, so to speak, against 
it, a rush of thoughts, of feelings which he kept struggling 
to hold back, but in the end they were generally too 
strong for him, and poured themselves out in a torrent 
of eloquence all the more impetuous from having been 
so long repressed. The effect of these outbursts was 
irresistible, and carried his hearers beyond themselves at 
once. Even when his efforts of self-restraint were more 
successful, those very efforts gave a life and colour to 
his style which riveted the attention of all within the 
reach of his voice. Mr. Justin McCarthy, in his History 
of Our Own Times, says of him : " In all the arts that 
make a great preacher or orator, Cardinal Newman was 
deficient. His manner was constrained and ungraceful, 
and even awkward ; his voice was thin and weak, his 
bearing was not at first impressive in any way — a gaunt 
emaciated figure, a sharp eagle face, and a cold medita- 
tive eye, rather repelled than attracted those who saw 
him for the first time." I do not think Mr. McCarthy's 
phrases very happily chosen to convey his meaning. 
Surely a gaunt emaciated frame and a sharp eagle face 
are the very characteristics which we should picture to 
ourselves as belonging to Peter the Hermit, or Scott's 
Ephraim Macbriar in Old Mortality. However unim- 
pressive the look of an eagle may be in Mr. McCarthy's 
opinion, I do not agree with him about Dr. Newman. 


When I knew him at Oxford, these somewhat disparag- 
ing remarks would not have been applicable. His 
manner, it is true, may have been self-repressed, con- 
strained it was not. His bearing was neither awkward 
nor ungraceful ; it was simply quiet and calm, because 
under strict control ; but beneath that calmness, intense 
feeling, I think, was obvious to those who had any 
instinct of sympathy with him. But if Mr. McCarthy's 
acquaintance with him only began when he took office 
in an Irish Catholic university, I can quite understand 
that (flexibility not being one of his special gifts) he may 
have failed now and again to bring himself into perfect 
harmony with an Irish audience. He was probably too 
much of a typical Englishman for his place ; neverthe- 
less Mr. McCarthy, though he does not seem to have 
admired him in the pulpit, is fully sensible of his intel- 
lectual powers and general eminence. 

Dr. Pusey, who used every now and then to take 
Newman's duties at St. Mary's, was to me a much less 
interesting person. [A learned man, no doubt, but dull 
and tedious as a preacher.] Certainly, in spite of the 
name Puseyism having been given to the Oxford attempt 
at a new Catholic departure, he was not the Columbus 
of that voyage of discovery undertaken to find a safer 
haven for the Church of England. I may, however, be 
more or less unjust to him, as I owe him a sort of grudge. 
His discourses were not only less attractive than those 
of Dr. Newman, but always much longer, and the result 
of this was that the learned Canon of Christ Church 
generally made me late for dinner at my College, a 
calamity never inflicted on his All Souls' hearers by the 
terser and swifter fellow of Oriel whom he was replacing. 



" Depend upon it," an earnest High Churchman of 
the Joshua Watson type had said to one of Mr. 
Newman's friends, who was a link between the old 
Churchmanship and the new — "depend upon it, the 
day will come when those great doctrines " connected 
with the Church, " now buried, will be brought out to 
the light of the day, and then the effect will be quite 
fearful." 1 With the publication of the Tracts for the 
Times, and the excitement caused by them, the day 
had come. 

Their unflinching and severe proclamation of 
Church principles and Church doctrines coincided 
with a state of feeling and opinion in the country, in 
which two very different tendencies might be observed. 
They fell on the public mind just when one of these 

1 The conversation between Mr. Sikes of Guilsborough and Mr. 
Copcland is given in full in Dr. Pusey's Letter to the Archbishop of 
Canterbury (1842), pp. 32-34. 


tendencies would help them, and the other be fiercely 
hostile. On the one hand, the issue of the political 
controversy with the Roman Catholics, their triumph 
all along the line, and the now scarcely disguised con- 
tempt shown by their political representatives for the 
pledges and explanations on which their relief was 
supposed to have been conceded, had left the public 
mind sore, angry, and suspicious. Orthodox and 
Evangelicals were alike alarmed and indignant ; and 
the Evangelicals, always doctrinally jealous of Popery, 
and of anything "unsound" in that direction, had 
been roused to increased irritation by the proceedings 
of the Reformation Society, which had made it its 
business to hold meetings and discussions all over the 
country, where fervid and sometimes eloquent and 
able Irishmen, like Mr. E. Tottenham, afterwards of 
Laura Chapel, Bath, had argued and declaimed, with 
Roman text-books in hand, on such questions as the 
Right of Private Judgment, the Rule of Faith, and the 
articles of the Tridentine Creed — not always with the 
effect which they intended on those who heard them, 
with whom their arguments, and those which they 
elicited from their opponents, sometimes left behind 
uncomfortable misgivings, and questions even more 
serious than the controversy itself. On the other 
hand, in quarters quite unconnected with the recog- 
nised religious schools, interest had been inde- 
pendently and strongly awakened in the minds of 
theologians and philosophical thinkers, in regard to 
the idea, history, and relations to society of the 


Christian Church. In Ireland, a recluse, who was 
the centre of a small knot of earnest friends, a man of 
deep piety and great freedom and originality of mind, 
Mr. Alexander Knox, had been led, partly, it may be, 
by his intimacy with John Wesley, to think out for 
himself the character and true constitution of the 
Church, and the nature of the doctrines which it was 
commissioned to teach. In England, another recluse, 
of splendid genius and wayward humour, had dealt in 
his own way, with far-reaching insight, with vast read- 
ing, and often with impressive eloquence, with the 
same subject ; and his profound sympathy and faith 
had been shared and reflected by a great poet. What 
Coleridge and Wordsworth had put in the forefront of 
their speculations and poetry, as the object of their 
profoundest interest, and of their highest hopes for 
mankind, might, of course, fail to appear in the same 
light to others ; but it could not fail, in those days at 
least, to attract attention, as a matter of grave and 
well-founded importance. Coleridge's theories of the 
Church w r ere his own, and were very wide of theories 
recognised by any of those who had to deal practically 
with the question, and who were influenced, in one 
way or another, by the traditional doctrines of theo- 
logians. But Coleridge had lifted the subject to a 
very high level. He had taken the simple but all- 
important step of viewing the Church in its spiritual 
character as first and foremost and above all things 
essentially a religious society of divine institution, not 
dependent on the creation or will of man, or on the 


privileges and honours which man might think fit to 
assign to it ; and he had undoubtedly familiarised 
the minds of many with this way of regarding it, how- 
ever imperfect, or cloudy, or unpractical they might 
find the development of his ideas, and his deductions 
from them. And in Oxford the questions which had 
stirred the friends at Hadleigh had stirred others also, 
and had waked up various responses. Whately's acute 
mind had not missed these questions, and had given 
original if insufficient answers to them. Blanco White 
knew only too well their bearing and importance, and 
had laboured, not without success, to leave behind 
him his own impress on the way in which they should 
be dealt with. Dr. Hampden, the man in Oxford 
best acquainted with Aristotle's works and with the 
scholastic philosophy, had thrown Christian doctrines 
into a philosophical calculus which seemed to leave 
them little better than the inventions of men. On 
the other hand, a brilliant scholar, whose after-career 
was strangely full of great successes and deplorable 
disasters, William Sewell of Exeter College, had 
opened, in a way new to Oxford, the wealth and 
magnificence of Plato; and his thoughts had been 
dazzled by seeming to find in the truths and facts of 
the Christian Church the counterpart and realisation 
of the grandest of Plato's imaginations. The sub- 
jects treated with such dogmatic severity and such 
impetuous earnestness in the Tracts were, in one 
shape or another, in all men's minds, when these 
Tracts broke on the University and English society 


with their peremptory call to men "to take their 

There was just a moment of surprise and uncer- 
tainty — uncertainty as to what the Tracts meant ; 
whether they were to be a new weapon against the 
enemies of the Church, or were simply extravagant 
and preposterous novelties — just a certain perplexity 
and hesitation at their conflicting aspects ; on the one 
hand, the known and high character of the writers, 
their evident determination and confidence in their 
cause, the attraction of their religious warmth and 
unselfishness and nobleness, the dim consciousness 
that much that they said was undeniable; and on 
the other hand, the apparent wildness and reckless- 
ness of their words : and then public opinion began 
steadily to take its "ply," and to be agreed in con- 
demning them. It soon went farther, and became 
vehement in reprobating them as scandalous and 
dangerous publications. They incensed the Evan- 
gelicals by their alleged Romanism, and their unsound 
views about justification, good works, and the sacra- 
ments ; they angered the "two-bottle orthodox" by 
their asceticism — the steady men, by their audacity 
and strong words — the liberals, by their dogmatic 
severity ; their seriously practical bearing was early 
disclosed in a tract on "Fasting." But while they 
repelled strongly, they attracted strongly ; they 
touched many consciences, they won many hearts, 
they opened new thoughts and hopes to many minds. 
One of the mischiefs of the Tracts, and of those ser- 


mons at St. Mary's which were the commentaries on 
them, was that so many people seemed to like them 
and to be struck by them. The gathering storm 
muttered and growled for some time at a distance, 
and men seemed to be taking time to make up their 
minds ; but it began to lour from early days, till after 
various threatenings it broke in a furious article in the 
Edinburgh, by Dr. Arnold, on the "Oxford Malig- 
nants"; and the Tract-writers and their friends 
became, what they long continued to be, the most 
unpopular and suspected body of men in the Church, 
whom everybody was at liberty to insult, both as dis- 
honest and absurd, of whom nothing was too cruel 
to say, nothing too ridiculous to believe. It is only 
equitable to take into account the unprepared state 
of the public mind, the surprise and novelty of even 
the commonest things when put in a new light, the 
prejudices which the Tract-writers were thought wan- 
tonly to offend and defy, their militant and uncom- 
promising attitude, where principles were at stake. 
But considering what these men were known to be in 
character and life, what was the emergency and what 
were the pressing motives w r hich called for action, and 
what is thought of them now that their course is run, 
it is strange indeed to remember who they were, to 
whom the courtesies of controversy were denied, 
not only by the vulgar herd of pamphleteers, but by 
men of ability and position, some of whom had been 
their familiar friends. Of course a nickname was 
soon found for them : the word " Tractarian " was 


invented, and Archbishop Whately thought it worth 
while, but not successfully, to improve it into 
"Tractites." Archbishop Whately, always ingenious, 
appears to have suspected that the real but concealed 
object of the movement was to propagate a secret 
infidelity; they were "Children of the Mist," or 
" Veiled Prophets " ; x and he seriously suggested to 
a friend who was writing against it, — "this rapidly 
spreading pestilence," — to parallel it, in its character- 
istics and modes of working, with Indian Thuggee. 2 

But these things were of gradual growth. To- 
wards the end of 1834 a question appeared in Oxford 
interesting to numbers besides Mr. Newman and his 
friends, which was to lead to momentous consequences. 
The old, crude ideas of change in the Church had come 
to appear, even to their advocates, for the present im- 
practicable, and there was no more talk for a long 
time of schemes which had been in favour two years 
before. The ground was changed, and a point was 
now brought forward on the Liberal side, for which a 

1 " Dr. Wilson was mightily pleased with my calling the tradi- 
tional the ' Children of the Mist. ' The title of ' Veiled Prophets ' 
he thought too severe" (1838), Life, ed. 1875, P- I ^ > 7' Compare 
" Hints to Transcendentalists for Working Infidel Designs through 
Tractarianism," a jeu d'esfrit (1840), ib. p. 188. "As for the 
suspicion of secret infidelity, I have said no more than I sincerely 
feel," ib. p. 181. 

2 "It would be a curious thing if you (the Provost of Oriel) were 
to bring into your Bampton Lectures a mention of the Thugs. . . . 
Observe their submissive piety, their faith in long-preserved tradi- 
tion, their regular succession of ordinations to their offices, their 
faith in the sacramental virtue of the consecrated governor ; in 
short, compare our religion with the Thuggee, putting out of account 
all those considerations which the traditionists deprecate the discus- 
sion of, and where is the difference?" (1840), ib. p. 194. 


good deal might be plausibly said. This was the 
requirement of subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles 
from young men at matriculation ; and a strong 
pamphlet advocating its abolition, with the express 
purpose of admitting Dissenters, was published by Dr. 
Hampden, the Bampton Lecturer of two years before. 
Oxford had always been one of the great schools 
of the Church. Its traditions, its tone, its customs, its 
rules, all expressed or presumed the closest attachment 
to that way of religion which was specially identified 
with the Church, in its doctrinal and historical aspect. 
Oxford was emphatically definite, dogmatic, orthodox, 
compared even with Cambridge, which had largely 
favoured the Evangelical school, and had leanings to 
Liberalism. Oxford, unlike Cambridge, gave notice of 
its attitude by requiring every one who matriculated to 
subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles : the theory of its 
Tutorial system, of its lectures and examinations, im- 
plied what of late years in the better colleges, though 
certainly not everywhere, had been realised in fact — a 
considerable amount of religious and theological teach- 
ing. And whatever might have been said originally of 
the lay character of the University, the colleges, which 
had become coextensive with the University, were for 
the most part, in the intention of their founders, meant 
to educate and support theological students on their 
foundations for the service of the Church. It became 
in time the fashion to call them lay institutions : legally 
they may have been so, but judged by their statutes, 
they were nearly all of them as ecclesiastical as the 


Chapter of a Cathedral. And Oxford was the fulcrum 
from which the theological revival hoped to move the 
Church. It was therefore a shock and a challenge of 
no light kind, when not merely the proposal was made 
to abolish the matriculation subscription with the 
express object of attracting Dissenters, and to get 
Parliament to force the change on the University if 
the University resisted, but the proposal itself was 
vindicated and enforced in a pamphlet by Dr. Hamp- 
den by a definite and precise theory which stopped 
not short of the position that all creeds and formularies 
— everything which represented the authority of the 
teaching Church — however incidentally and tempor- 
arily useful, were in their own nature the inventions of 
a mistaken and corrupt philosophy, and invasions of 
Christian liberty. This was cutting deep with a 
vengeance, though the author of the theory seemed 
alone unable to see it. It went to the root of the 
whole matter ; and if Dr. Hampden was right, there 
was neither Church nor doctrine worth contending 
for, except as men contend about the Newtonian or 
the undulatory theory of light. 

No one ought now to affect, as some people used 
to affect at the time, that the question was of secondary 
importance, and turned mainly on the special fitness 
of the Thirty-nine Articles to be offered for the proof 
of a young man's belief. It was a much more critical 
question. It was really, however disguised, the 
question, asked then for the first time, and since 
finally decided, whether Oxford was to continue to be a 


school of the Church of England ; and it also involved 
the wider question, what part belief in definite religion 
should have in higher education. It is speciously said 
that you have no right to forestall a young man's in- 
quiries and convictions by imposing on him in his early 
years opinions which to him become prejudices. And 
if the world consisted simply of individuals, entirely 
insulated and self-sufficing; if men could be taught 
anything whatever, without presuming what is believed 
by those who teach them; and if the attempt to exclude 
religious prejudice did not necessarily, by the mere 
force of the attempt, involve the creation of anti- 
religious prejudice, these reasoners, who try in vain to 
get out of the conditions which hem them in, might 
have more to say for themselves. To the men who 
had made such an effort to restore a living confidence 
in the Church, the demand implied giving up all that 
they had done and all that they hoped for. It was 
not the time for yielding even a clumsy proof of the 
religious character of the University. And the begin- 
ning of a long and doubtful war was inevitable. 

A war of pamphlets ensued. By the one side the 
distinction was strongly insisted on between mere 
instruction and education, the distinctly religious char- 
acter of the University education was not perhaps 
overstated in its theory, but portrayed in stronger 
colours than was everywhere the fact ; and assertions 
were made, which sound strange in their boldness 
now, of the independent and constitutional right to 
self-government in the great University corporations. 


By the other side, the ordinary arguments were used, 
about the injustice and mischief of exclusion, and the 
hurtfulness of tests, especially such tests as the Articles 
applied to young and ignorant men. Two pamphlets 
had more than a passing interest : one, by a then 
unknown writer who signed himself Rusticus, and 
whose name was Mr. F. D. Maurice, defended sub- 
scription on the ground that the Articles were signed, 
not as tests and confessions of faith, but as "conditions 
of thought," the expressly stated conditions, such as 
there must be in all teaching, under which the learners 
are willing to learn and the teacher to teach : and he 
developed his view at great length, with great wealth 
of original thought and illustration and much eloquence, 
but with that fatal want of clearness which, as so often 
afterwards, came from his struggles to embrace in one 
large view what appeared opposite aspects of a diffi- 
cult subject. The other was the pamphlet, already 
referred to, by Dr. Hampden : and of which the im- 
portance arose, not from its conclusions, but from its 
reasons. Its ground was the distinction which he had 
argued out at great length in his Bampton Lectures — 
the distinction between the " Divine facts " of revela- 
tion, and all human interpretations of them and infer- 
ences from them. " Divine facts," he maintained, were 
of course binding on all Christians, and in matter of 
fact were accepted by all who called themselves Chris- 
tians, including Unitarians. Human interpretations 
and inferences — and all Church formularies were such 
— were binding on no one but those who had reason 


to think them true ; and therefore least of all on 
undergraduates who could not have examined them. 
The distinction, when first put forward, seemed to 
mean much ; at a later time it was explained to mean 
very little. But at present its value as a ground of 
argument against the old system of the University 
was thought much of by its author and his friends. 
A warning note was at once given that its signifi- 
cance was perceived and appreciated. Mr. Newman, 
in acknowledging a presentation copy, added words 
which foreshadowed much that was to follow. " While 
I respect," he wrote, " the tone of piety which the 
pamphlet displays, I dare not trust myself to put on 
paper my feelings about the principles contained in 
it ; tending, as they do, in my opinion, to make ship- 
wreck of Christian faith. I also lament that, by its 
appearance, the first step has been taken towards 
interrupting that peace and mutual good understand- 
ing which has prevailed so long in this place, and 
which, if once seriously disturbed, will be succeeded 
by discussions the more intractable, because justified 
in the minds of those who resist innovation by a feel- 
ing of imperative duty." " Since that time," he goes 
on in the Apologia, where he quotes this letter, 
" Phaeton has got into the chariot of the sun." 1 But 
they were early days then ; and when the Heads of 
Houses, who the year before had joined with the 
great body of the University in a declaration against 
the threatened legislation, were persuaded to propose 

1 Apologia, pp. 131, 132. 


to the Oxford Convocation the abolition of subscrip- 
tion at matriculation in May 1835, this proposal was 
rejected by a majority of five to one. 

This large majority was a genuine expression of 
the sense of the University. It was not specially a 
" Tractarian " success, though most of the arguments 
which contributed to it came from men who more or 
less sympathised with the effort to make a vigorous 
fight for the Church and its teaching ; and it showed 
that they who had made the effort had touched 
springs of thought and feeling, and awakened new 
hopes and interest in those around them, in Oxford, 
and in the country. But graver events were at hand. 
Towards the end of the year (1835), Dr. Burton, the 
Regius Professor of Divinity, suddenly died, still a 
young man. And Lord Melbourne was induced to 
appoint as his successor, and as the head of the 
theological teaching of the University, the writer who 
had just a second time seemed to lay the axe to the 
root of all theology; who had just reasserted that he 
looked upon creeds, and all the documents which em- 
bodied the traditional doctrine and collective thought 
of the Church, as invested by ignorance and prejudice 
with an authority which was without foundation, and 
which was misleading and mischievous. 



The stage on which what is called the Oxford move- 
ment ran through its course had a special character 
of its own, unlike the circumstances in which other 
religious efforts had done their work. The scene of 
Jansenism had been a great capital, a brilliant society, 
the precincts of a court, the cells of a convent, the 
studies and libraries of the doctors of the Sorbonne, 
the council chambers of the Vatican. The scene 
of Methodism had been English villages and country 
towns, the moors of Cornwall, and the collieries of 
Bristol, at length London fashionable chapels. The 
scene of this new movement was as like as it could 
be in our modern world to a Greek 7t6\l$, or an 
Italian self-centred city of the Middle Ages. Oxford 
stood by itself in its meadows by the rivers, having its 
relations with all England, but, like its sister at Cam- 
bridge, living a life of its own, unlike that of any other 
spot in England, with its privileged powers, and ex- 
emptions from the general law, with its special mode 


of government and police, its usages and tastes and 
traditions, and even costume, which the rest of Eng- 
land looked at from the outside, much interested but 
much puzzled, or knew only by transient visits. And 
Oxford was as proud and jealous of its own ways as 
Athens or Florence ; and like them it had its quaint 
fashions of polity ; its democratic Convocation and its 
oligarchy ; its social ranks ; its discipline, severe in 
theory and usually lax in fact ; its self-governed bodies 
and corporations within itself; its faculties and colleges, 
like the guilds and " arts " of Florence ; its internal 
rivalries and discords ; its " sets " and factions. Like 
these, too, it professed a special recognition of the 
supremacy of religion ; it claimed to be a home of 
worship and religious training, Dominus illuminatio 
mea, a claim too often falsified in the habit and tempers 
of life. It was a small sphere, but it was a conspicuous 
one ; for there was much strong and energetic char- 
acter, brought out by the aims and conditions of Uni- 
versity life ; and though moving in a separate orbit, 
the influence of the famous place over the outside 
England, though imperfectly understood, was recog- 
nised and great. These conditions affected the char- 
acter of the movement, and of the conflicts which it 
caused. Oxford claimed to be eminently the guardian 
of " true religion and sound learning " ; and therefore 
it was eminently the place where religion should be 
recalled to its purity and strength, and also the place 
where there ought to be the most vigilant jealousy 
against the perversions and corruptions of religion. 

ix DR. HAMPDEN 161 

Oxford was a place where every one knew his neigh- 
bour, and measured him, and was more or less friendly 
or repellent ; where the customs of life brought men 
together every day and all day, in converse or discus- 
sion ; and where every fresh statement or every new 
step taken furnished endless material for speculation 
or debate, in common rooms or in the afternoon walk. 
And for this reason, too, feelings were apt to be more 
keen and intense and personal than in the larger 
scenes of life ; the man who was disliked or distrusted 
was so close to his neighbours that he was more 
irritating than if he had been obscured by a crowd ; 
the man who attracted confidence and kindled en- 
thusiasm, whose voice was continually in men's ears, 
and whose private conversation and life was something 
ever new in its sympathy and charm, created in those 
about him not mere admiration, but passionate friend- 
ship, or unreserved discipleship. And these feelings 
passed from individuals into parties ; the small factions 
of a limited area. Men struck blows and loved and 
hated in those days in Oxford as they hardly did on 
the wider stage of London politics or general religious 

The conflicts which for a time turned Oxford into 
a kind of image of what Florence was in the days 
of Savonarola, with its nicknames, Puseyites, and 
Neomaniacs, and High and Dry, counterparts to the 
Piagnoni and Arrabbiati, of the older strife, began 
around a student of retired habits, interested more 
than was usual at Oxford in abstruse philosophy, 



and the last person who might be expected to be 
the occasion of great dissensions in the University. 
Dr. Hampden was a man who, with no definite 
intentions of innovating on the received doctrines of 
the Church — indeed, as his sermons showed, with a 
full acceptance of them — had taken a very difficult 
subject for a course of Bampton Lectures, without at 
all fathoming its depth and reach, and had got into 
a serious scrape in consequence. Personally he was a 
man of serious but cold religion, having little sympathy 
with others, and consequently not able to attract any. 
His isolation during the whole of his career is remark- 
able ; he attached no one, as Whately or Arnold 
attached men. His mind, which was a speculative 
one, was not one, in its own order, of the first class. 
He had not the grasp nor the subtlety necessary for 
his task. He had a certain power of statement, but 
little of co-ordination ; he seems not to have had the 
power of seeing when his ideas were really irreconcil- 
able, and he thought that simply by insisting on his 
distinctly orthodox statements he not only balanced, 
but neutralised, and did away with his distinctly un- 
orthodox ones. He had read a good deal of Aristotle 
and something of the Schoolmen, which probably no 
one else in Oxford had done except Blanco White ; 
and the temptation of having read what no one else 
knows anything about sometimes leads men to make 
an unprofitable use of their special knowledge, which 
they consider their monopoly. 

The creed and dogmas of the Christian Church are 



at least in their broad features, not a speculation, but 
a fact. That not only the Apostles' Creed, but the 
Nicene and Constantinopolitan Creeds, are assumed 
as facts by the whole of anything that can be called 
the Church, is as certain as the reception by the same 
body, and for the same time, of the Scriptures. Not 
only the Creed, but, up to the sixteenth century, the 
hierarchy, and not only Creed and hierarchy and 
Scriptures, but the sacramental idea as expressed in 
the liturgies, are equally in the same class of facts. Of 
course it is open to any one to question the genuine 
origin of any of these great portions of the constitu- 
tion of the Church ; but the Church is so committed to 
them that he cannot enter on his destructive criticism 
without having to criticise, not one only, but all these 
beliefs, and without soon having to face the question 
whether the whole idea of the Church, as a real and 
divinely ordained society, with a definite doctrine and 
belief, is not a delusion, and whether Christianity, 
whatever it is, is addressed solely to each individual, 
one by one, to make what he can of it. It need 
hardly be said that within the limits of what the 
Church is committed to there is room for very wide 
differences of opinion ; it is also true that these limits 
have, in different times of the Church, been illegiti- 
mately and mischievously narrowed by prevailing 
opinions, and by documents and formularies respect- 
ing it. But though we may claim not to be bound by 
the Augsburg Confession, or by the Lambeth articles, 
or the Synod of Dort, or the Bull U?iigenitus, it does 


not follow that, if there is a Church at all, there is no 
more binding authority in the theology of the Nicene 
and Athanasian Creeds. And it is the province of 
the divine who believes in a Church at all, and in its 
office to be the teacher and witness of religious truth, 
to distinguish between the infinitely varying degrees 
of authority with which professed representations of 
portions of this truth are propounded for acceptance. 
It may be difficult or impossible to agree on a theory 
of inspiration ; but that the Church doctrine of some 
kind of special inspiration of Scripture is part of Chris- 
tianity is, unless Christianity be a dream, certain. No 
one can reasonably doubt, with history before him, 
that the answer of the Christian Church was, the first 
time the question was asked, and has continued to be 
through ages of controversy, against Arianism, against 
Socinianism, against Pelagianism, against Zwinglian- 
ism. It does not follow that the Church has settled 
everything, or that there are not hundreds of questions 
which it is vain and presumptuous to attempt to settle 
by any alleged authority. 

Dr. Hampden was. in fact unexceptionably, even 
rigidly orthodox in his acceptance of Church doctrine 
and Church creeds. He had published a volume of 
sermons containing, among other things, an able 
statement of the Scriptural argument for the doctrine 
of the Trinity, and an equally able defence of the 
Athanasian Creed. But he felt that there are formu- 
laries which may be only the interpretations of doc- 
trine and inferences from Scripture of a particular 



time or set of men ; and he was desirous of putting 
into their proper place the authority of such formu- 
laries. His object was to put an interval between 
them and the Scriptures from which they professed to 
be derived, and to prevent them from claiming the 
command over faith and conscience which was due 
only to the authentic evidences of God's revelation. 
He wished to make room for a deeper sense of the 
weight of Scripture. He proposed to himself the 
same thing which was aimed at by the German 
divines, Arndt, Calixtus, and Spener, when they rose 
up against the grinding oppression which Lutheran 
dogmatism had raised on its Symbolical Books} and 
which had come to outdo the worst extravagances of 
scholasticism. This seems to have been his object — 
a fair and legitimate one. But in arguing against 
investing the Thirty-nine Articles with an authority 
which did not belong to them, he unquestionably, 
without seeing what he was doing, went much farther 
— where he never meant to go. In fact, he so stated 
his argument that he took in with the Thirty-nine 
Articles every expression of collective belief, every 
document, however venerable, which the Church 
had sanctioned from the first. Strangely enough, 
without observing it, he took in — what he meant 
to separate by a wide interval from what he 
called dogma — the doctrine of the infallible author- 
ity and sufficiency of Scripture. In denying the 
worth of the consetisus and immemorial judgment of 

1 See Pusey's Theology of Germany (1828), p. 18 sqq. 


the Church, he cut from under him the claim to that 
which he accepted as the source and witness of " divine 
facts." He did not mean to do this, or to do many 
other things ; but from want of clearness of head, he 
certainly, in these writings which were complained of, 
did it. He was, in temper and habit, too desirous to 
be "orthodox," as Whately feared, to accept in its 
consequences his own theory. The theory which he 
put forward in his Bampton Lectures, and on which 
he founded his plan of comprehension in his pamphlet 
on Dissent, left nothing standing but the authority of 
the letter of Scripture. All else — right or wrong as 
it might be — was "speculation," "human inference," 
"dogma." With perfect consistency, he did not 
pretend to take even the Creeds out of this category. 
But the truth was, he did not consciously mean all 
that he said; and when keener and more powerful 
and more theological minds pointed out with relent- 
less accuracy what he had said, he was profuse and 
overflowing with explanations, which showed how 
little he had perceived the drift of his words. There 
is not the least reason to doubt the sincerity of these 
explanations ; but at the same time they showed the 
unfitness of a man who had so to explain away his 
own speculations to be the official guide and teacher 
of the clergy. The criticisms on his language, and 
the objections to it, were made before these explana- 
tions were given ; and though he gave them, he was 
furious with those who called for them, and he never 
for a moment admitted that there was anything seri- 



ously wrong or mistaken in what he had said. To 
those who pointed out the meaning and effect of his 
words and theories, he replied by the assertion of his 
personal belief. If words mean anything, he had said 
that neither Unitarians nor any one else could get 
behind the bare letter, and what he called " facts," of 
Scripture, which all equally accepted in good faith ; 
and that therefore there was no reason for excluding 
Unitarians as long as they accepted the " facts." But 
when it was pointed out that this reasoning reduced 
all belief in the realities behind the bare letter to the 
level of personal and private opinion, he answered 
by saying that he valued supremely the Creeds and 
Articles, and by giving a statement of the great Chris- 
tian doctrines which he held, and which the Church 
taught. But he never explained what their authority 
could be with any one but himself. There might be 
interpretations and inferences from Scripture, by the 
hundred or the thousand, but no one certain and 
authoritative one ; none that warranted an organised 
Church, much more a Catholic and Apostolic Church, 
founded on the assumption of this interpretation being 
the one true faith, the one truth of the Bible. The 
point was brought out forcibly in a famous pamphlet 
written by Mr. Newman, though without his name, 
called "Elucidations of Dr. Hampden's Theological 
Statements." This pamphlet was a favourite object of 
attack on the part of Dr. Hampden's supporters as a 
flagrant instance of unfairness and garbled extracts. 
No one, they said, ever read the Bampton Lectures, 


but took their estimate of the work from Mr. New- 
man's quotations. Extracts are often open to the 
charge of unfairness, and always to suspicion. But in 
this case there was no need of unfairness. Dr. Hamp- 
den's theory lay on the very surface of his Bampton 
Lectures and pamphlet ; and any unbiassed judge 
may be challenged to read these works of his, and 
say whether the extracts in the "Elucidations" do 
not adequately represent Dr. Hampden's statements 
and arguments, and whether the comments on them 
are forced or strained. They do not represent his 
explanations, for the explanations had not been 
given ; and when the explanations came, though they 
said many things which showed that Dr. Hampden 
did not mean to be unorthodox and unevangelical, 
but only anti-scholastic and anti-Roman, they did not 
unsay a word which he had said. And what this was, 
what had been Dr. Hampden's professed theological 
theory up to the time when the University heard the 
news of his appointment, the " Elucidations " repre- 
sent as fairly as any adverse statement can represent 
the subject of its attack. 

In quieter times such an appointment might have 
passed with nothing more than a paper controversy 
or protest, or more probably without more than con- 
versational criticism. But these were not quiet and 
unsuspicious times. There was reason for disquiet. 
It was fresh in men's minds what language and 
speculation like that of the Bampton Lectures had 
come to in the case of Whately's intimate friend, Blanco 


White. The unquestionable hostility of Whately's 
school to the old ideas of the Church had roused 
alarm and a strong spirit of resistance in Churchmen. 
Each party was on the watch, and there certainly was 
something at stake for both parties. Coupled with 
some recent events, and with the part which Dr. 
Hampden had taken on the subscription question, the 
appointment naturally seemed significant. Probably 
it was not so significant as it seemed on the part at 
least of Lord Melbourne, who had taken pains to find 
a fit man. Dr. Hampden was said to have been 
recommended by Bishop Copleston, and not disallowed 
by Archbishop Howley. In the University, up to 
this time, there had been no authoritative protest 
against Dr. Hampden's writings. And there were 
not many Liberals to choose from. In the appoint- 
ment there is hardly sufficient ground to blame Lord 
Melbourne. But the outcry against it at Oxford, 
when it came, was so instantaneous, so strong, and 
so unusual, that it might have warned Lord Mel- 
bourne that he had been led into a mistake, out of 
which it would be wise to seek at least a way of 
escape. Doubtless it was a strong measure for the 
University to protest as it did ; but it was also a 
strong measure, at least in those days, for a Minister 
of the Crown to force so extremely unacceptable a 
Regius Professor of Divinity on a great University. 
Dr. Hampden offered to resign; and there would have 
been plenty of opportunities to compensate him for his 
sacrifice of a post which could only be a painful one. 


But the temper of both sides was up. The remon- 
strances from Oxford were treated with something 
like contempt, and the affair was hurried through till 
there was no retreating ; and Dr. Hampden became 
Regius Professor. 

Mr. Palmer has recorded how various efforts were 
made to neutralise the effect of the appointment. But 
the Heads of Houses, though angry, were cautious. 
They evaded the responsibility of stating Dr. Hamp- 
den's unsound positions ; but to mark their distrust, 
brought in a proposal to deprive him of his vote in the 
choice of Select Preachers till the University should 
otherwise determine. It was defeated in Convocation 
by the veto of the two Proctors (March 1836), who exer- 
cised their right with the full approval of Dr. Hamp- 
den's friends, and the indignation of the large majority 
of the University. But it was not unfairly used : it 
could have only a suspending effect, of which no one 
had a right to complain ; and when new Proctors came 
into office, the proposal was introduced again, and 
carried (May 1836) by 474 to 94. The Liberal 
minority had increased since the vote on subscription, 
and Dr. Hampden went on with his work as if nothing 
had happened. The attempt was twice made to rescind 
the vote : first, after the outcry about the Ninetieth 
Tract and the contest about the Poetry Professorship, 
by a simple repeal, which was rejected by 334 to 219 
(June 1842) ; and next, indirectly by a statute enlarg- 
ing the Professor's powers over Divinity degrees, 
which was also rejected by 341 to 21 (May 1844). 


From first to last, these things and others were the 
unfortunate incidents of an unfortunate appointment. 
The " persecution of Dr. Hampden " has been an 
unfailing subject of reproach to the party of the Oxford 
movement, since the days when the Edinburgh Review 
held them up to public scorn and hatred in an article 
of strange violence. They certainly had their full 
share in the opposition to him, and in the measures by 
which that opposition was carried out. But it would 
be the greatest mistake to suppose that in this matter 
they stood alone. All in the University at this time, 
except a small minority, were of one mind, Heads of 
Houses and country parsons, Evangelicals and High 
Churchmen — all who felt that the grounds of a definite 
belief were seriously threatened by Dr. Hampden's 
speculations. All were angry at the appointment ; all 
were agreed that something ought to be done to hinder 
the mischief of it. In this matter Mr. Newman and 
his friends were absolutely at one with everybody 
round them, with those who were soon to be their 
implacable opponents. Whatever deeper view they 
might have of the evil which had been done by the 
appointment, and however much graver and more per- 
manent their objections to it, they were responsible 
only as the whole University was responsible for what 
was done against Dr. Hampden. It was convenient 
afterwards to single them out, and to throw this re- 
sponsibility and the odium of it on them alone ; and 
when they came under the popular ban, it was for- 
gotten that Dr. Gilbert, the Principal of Brasenose, 


Dr. Symons, the Warden of Wadham, Dr. Faussett, 
afterwards the denouncer of Dr. Pusey, Mr. Vaughan 
Thomas, and Mr. Hill of St. Edmund Hall, were 
quite as forward at the time as Dr. Pusey and Mr. 
Newman in protesting against Dr. Hampden, and in 
the steps to make their protest effective. Mr. Palmer, 
in his Narrative} anxious to dissociate himself from 
the movement under Mr. Newman's influence, has 
perhaps underrated the part taken by Mr. Newman 
and Dr. Pusey ; for they, at any rate, did most of the 
argumentative work. But as far as personal action 
goes, it is true, as he says, that the "movement against 
Dr. Hampden was not guided by the Tract- writers." 
" The condemnation of Dr. Hampden, then, was not 
carried by the Tract-writers ; it was carried by the 
independent body of the University. The fact is that, 
had those writers taken any leading part, the measure 
would have been a failure, for the number of their 
friends at that time was a very small proportion to the 
University at large, and there was a general feeling of 
distrust in the soundness of their views." 

We are a long way from those days in time, and 
still more in habits and sentiment ; and a manifold 
and varied experience has taught most of us some 
lessons against impatience and violent measures. But 
if we put ourselves back equitably into the ways of 
thinking prevalent then, the excitement about Dr. 
Hampden will not seem so unreasonable or so 
unjustifiable as it is sometimes assumed to be. The 
1 Narrative, pp. 29, 30, ed. 1843 ; p. 131, cd. 1883. 


University legislation, indeed, to which it led was poor 
and petty, doing small and annoying things, because 
the University rulers dared not commit themselves to 
definite charges. But, in the first place, the provoca- 
tion was great on the part of the Government in putting 
into the chief theological chair an unwelcome man who 
could only save his orthodoxy by making his specula- 
tions mean next to nothing — whose prii?ia facie un- 
guarded and startling statements were resolved into 
truisms put in a grand and obscure form. And in the 
next place, it was assumed in those days to be the 
most natural and obvious thing in the world to con- 
demn unsound doctrine, and to exclude unsound 
teachers. The principle was accepted as indisputable, 
however slack might have been in recent times the 
application of it. That it was accepted, not on one 
side only, but on all, was soon to be shown by the 
subsequent course of events. No one suffered more 
severely and more persistently from its application 
than the Tractarians \ no one was more ready to 
apply it to them than Dr. Hampden with his friends ; 
no one approved and encouraged its vigorous enforce- 
ment against them more than Dr. Whately. The idle 
distinction set up, that they were not merely unsound 
but dishonest, was a mere insolent pretext to save 
trouble in argument, and to heighten the charge 
against them ; no one could seriously doubt that 
they wrote in good faith as much as Dr. Whately or 
Dr. Faussett. But unless acts like Dr. Pusey's sus- 
pension, and the long proscription that went on for 


years after it, were mere instances of vindictive retalia- 
tion, the reproach of persecution must be shared by 
all parties then, and by none more than by the party 
which in general terms most denounced it. Those 
who think the Hampden agitation unique in its in- 
justice ought to ask themselves what their party would 
have done if at any time between 1836 and 1843 Mr- 
Newman had been placed in Dr. Hampden's seat. 

People in our days mean by religious persecution 
what happens when the same sort of repressive policy 
is applied to a religious party as is applied to vaccin- 
ation recusants, or to the "Peculiar People." All 
religious persecution, from the days of Socrates, has 
taken a legal form, and justified itself on legal grounds. 
It is the action of authority, or of strong social judg- 
ments backed by authority, against a set of opinions, 
or the expression of them in word or act — usually 
innovating opinions, but not by any means necessarily 
such. The disciples of M. Monod, the " Momiers " of 
Geneva, were persecuted by the Liberals of Geneva, 
not because they broke away from the creed of Calvin, 
but because they adhered to it. The word is not 
properly applied to the incidental effects in the way 
of disadvantage, resulting from some broad constitu- 
tional settlement — from the government of the Church 
being Episcopal and not Presbyterian, or its creed 
Nicene and not Arian — any more than it is persecu- 
tion for a nation to change its government, or for a 
legitimist to have to live under a republic, or for a 
Christian to have to live in an infidel state, though 

ix DR. HAMPDEN 175 

persecution may follow from these conditions. But 
the prwilegium passed against Dr. Hampden was an 
act of persecution, though a mild one compared with 
what afterwards fell on his opponents with his full 
sanction. Persecution is the natural impulse, in those 
who think a certain thing right and important or worth 
guarding, to disable those who, thinking it wrong, are 
trying to discredit and upset it, and to substitute some- 
thing different. It implies a state of war, and the 
resort to the most available weapons to inflict damage 
on those who are regarded as rebellious and danger- 
ous. These weapons were formidable enough once : 
they are not without force still. But in its mildest 
form — personal disqualification or proscription — it is 
a disturbance which only war justifies. It may, of 
course, make itself odious by its modes of proceeding, 
by meanness and shabbiness and violence, by under- 
hand and ignoble methods of misrepresentation and 
slander, or by cruelty and plain injustice ; and then 
the odium of these things fairly falls upon it. But it 
is very hard to draw the line between conscientious 
repression, feeling itself bound to do what is possible 
to prevent mischief, and what those who are opposed, 
if they are the weaker party, of course call persecution. 
If persecution implies a state of war in which one 
side is stronger, and the other weaker, it is hardly a 
paradox to say that (i) no one has a right to complain 
of persecution as such, apart from odious accompani- 
ments, any more than of superior numbers or hard 
blows in battle ; and (2) that every one has a right to 


take advantage and make the most of being persecuted, 
by appeals to sympathy and the principle of doing as 
you would be done by. No one likes to be accused 
of persecution, and few people like to give up the 
claim to use it, if necessary. But no one can help 
observing in the course of events the strange way in 
which, in almost all cases, the "wheel comes full 
circle." Apao-avn -n-aOeiv — Chi la fa, V aspetti} are 
some of the expressions of Greek awe and Italian 
shrewdness representing the experience of the world 
on this subject, on a large scale and a small. Pro- 
testants and Catholics, Churchmen and Noncon- 
formists, have all in their turn made full proof of 
what seems like a law of action and reaction. Except 
in cases beyond debate, cases where no justification is 
possible, the note of failure is upon this mode of repres- 
sion. Providence, by the visible Nemesis which it seems 
always to bring round, by the regularity with which it 
has enforced the rule that infliction and suffering are 
bound together and in time duly change places, seems 
certainly and clearly to have declared against it. It 
may be that no innovating party has a right to com- 
plain of persecution ; but the question is not for them. 
It is for those who have the power, and who are 
tempted to think that they have the call, to persecute. 
It is for them to consider whether it is right, or wise, or 
useful for their cause ; whether it is agreeable to what 
seems the leading of Providence to have recourse to it. 

1 ApdaavTi iradelv, Tpiytpcov /nvdos rdde cpuvei. JEsch. Ckoeph. 
310. Italian proverb, in Landucci, Diario Florentine, 1513, p. 343. 



By the end of 1835, tne band of friends, whom great 
fears and great hopes for the Church had united, and 
others who sympathised with them both within and 
outside the University, had grown into what those 
who disliked them naturally called a party. The 
Hampden controversy, though but an episode in the 
history of the movement, was an important one, and 
undoubtedly gave a great impulse to it. Dr. Hamp- 
den's attitude and language seemed to be its justifica- 
tion — a palpable instance of what the Church had to 
expect. And in this controversy, though the feeling 
against Dr. Hampden's views was so widely shared, 
and though the majority which voted against him was 
a very mixed one, and contained some who hoped 
that the next time they were called to vote it might 
be against the Tractarians, yet the leaders of the 
movement had undertaken the responsibility, con- 



spicuously and almost alone, of pointing out definitely 
and argumentatively the objections to Dr. Hampden's 
teaching. The number of Mr. Newman's friends 
might be, as Mr. Palmer says, insignificant, but it 
was they who had taken the trouble to understand 
and give expression to the true reasons for alarm. 1 
Even in this hasty and imperfect way, the discussion 
revealed to many how much deeper and more serious 
the treatment of the subject was in the hands of Mr. 
Newman and Dr. Pusey compared with the ordinary 
criticisms on Dr. Hampden. He had learned in too 
subtle a school to be much touched by the popular 
exceptions to his theories, however loudly expressed. 
The mischief was much deeper. It was that he had, 
unconsciously, no doubt, undermined the foundation 
of definite Christian belief, and had resolved it into a 
philosophy, so-called scholastic, which was now ex- 
ploded. It was the sense of the perilous issues to 
which this diluted form of Blanco White's specula- 
tions, so recklessly patronised by Whately, was leading 
theological teaching in the University, which opened 
the eyes of many to the meaning of the movement, 
and brought some fresh friends to its side. 

There was no attempt to form a party, or to prose- 
lytise; there was no organisation, no distinct and 
recognised party marks. " I would not have it called 
a party," writes Dr. Newman in the Apologia. But a 

1 " I answered, the person whom we were opposing had com- 
mitted himself in writing, and we ought to commit ourselves too." 
— Apologia, p. 143. 


party it could not help being : quietly and spontane- 
ously it had grown to be what community of ideas, 
aims, and sympathies, naturally, and without blame, 
leads men to become. And it had acquired a number 
of recognised nicknames, to friends and enemies the 
sign of growing concentration. For the questions 
started in the Tracts and outside them became of 
increasing interest to the more intelligent men who 
had finished their University course and were pre- 
paring to enter into life, the Bachelors and younger 
Masters of Arts. One by one they passed from 
various states of mind — alienation, suspicion, fear, 
indifference, blank ignorance — into a consciousness 
that something beyond the mere commonplace of 
religious novelty and eccentricity, of which there had 
been a good deal recently, was before them ; that 
doctrines and statements running counter to the 
received religious language of the day, doctrines about 
which, in confident prejudice, they had perhaps bandied 
about off-hand judgments, had more to say for them- 
selves than was thought at first ; that the questions 
thus raised drove them in on themselves, and appealed 
to their honesty and seriousness ; and that, at any rate, 
in the men who were arresting so much attention, 
however extravagant their teaching might be called, 
there was a remarkable degree of sober and reserved 
force, an earnestness of conviction which could not be 
doubted, an undeniable and subtle power of touching 
souls and attracting sympathies. One by one, and in 
many different ways, these young men went through 


various stages of curiosity, of surprise, of perplexity, of 
doubt, of misgiving, of interest; some were frightened, 
and wavered, and drew back more or less reluctantly ; 
others, in spite of themselves, in spite of opposing 
influences, were led on step by step, hardly knowing 
whither, by a spell which they could not resist, of 
intellectual, or still more, moral pressure. Some found 
their old home teaching completed, explained, lighted 
up, by that of the new school. Others, shocked at 
first at hearing the old watchwords and traditions of 
their homes decried and put aside, found themselves, 
when they least expected it, passing from the letter 
to the spirit, from the technical and formal theory to 
the wide and living truth. And thus, though many 
of course held aloof, and not a few became hostile, a 
large number, one by one, some rapidly, others slowly, 
some unreservedly, others with large and jealous re- 
serves, more and more took in the leading idea of the 
movement, accepted the influence of its chiefs, and 
looked to them for instruction and guidance. As it 
naturally happens, when a number of minds are drawn 
together by a common and strong interest, some men, 
by circumstances, or by strength of conviction, or by 
the mutual affinities of tastes and character, came more 
and more into direct personal and intimate relations 
with the leaders, took service, as it were, under them, 
and prepared to throw themselves into their plans 
of work. Others, in various moods, but more in- 
dependent, more critical, more disturbed about con- 
sequences, or unpersuaded on special points, formed a 


kind of fringe of friendly neutrality about the more 
thoroughgoing portion of the party. And outside of 
these were thoughtful and able men, to whom the 
whole movement, with much that was utterly displeas- 
ing and utterly perplexing, had the interest of being a 
break-up of stagnation and dull indolence in a place 
which ought to have the highest spiritual and intel- 
lectual aims ; who, whatever repelled them, could not 
help feeling that great ideas, great prospects, a new 
outburst of bold thought, a new effort of moral pur- 
pose and force, had disturbed the old routine ; could 
not help being fascinated, if only as by a spectacle, by 
the strange and unwonted teaching, which partly made 
them smile, partly perhaps permanently disgusted 
them, but which also, they could not deny, spoke in a 
language more fearless, more pathetic, more subtle, 
and yet more human, than they had heard from the 
religious teachers of the day. And thus the circle 
of persons interested in the Tracts, of persons who 
sympathised with their views, of persons who more 
and more gave a warm and earnest adherence to them, 
was gradually extended in the University — and, in 
time, in the country also. The truth was that the 
movement, in its many sides, had almost monopolised 
for the time both the intelligence and the highest 
religious earnestness of the University, 1 and eithe 

o 1 

r in 

1 " I very much doubt between Oxford and Cambridge for my 
boy. Oxford, which I should otherwise prefer, on many accounts, 
has at present two-thirds of the steady-reading men, Rabbinists, i.e. 
Puseyites." But this was probably an exaggeration. — Whately's 
Life; letter of Oct. 1838, p. 163 (ed. 1875). 


curiosity or inquiry, in approval or in condemnation, 
all that was deepest and most vigorous, all that was 
most refined, most serious, most high-toned, and most 
promising in Oxford was drawn to the issues which it 
raised. It is hardly too much to say that wherever 
men spoke seriously of the grounds and prospects of 
religion, in Oxford, or in Vacation reading-parties, in 
their walks and social meetings, in their studies or in 
common-room, the "Tractarian" doctrines, whether 
assented to or laughed at, deplored or fiercely de- 
nounced, were sure to come to the front. All sub- 
jects in discussion seemed to lead up to them — art 
and poetry, Gothic architecture and German romance 
and painting, the philosophy of language, and the 
novels of Walter Scott and Miss Austen, Cole- 
ridge's transcendentalism and Bishop Butler's practical 
wisdom, Plato's ideas and Aristotle's analysis. It was 
difficult to keep them out of lecture-rooms and ex- 
aminations for Fellowships. 

But in addition to the intrinsic interest of the 
questions and discussions which the movement opened, 
personal influence played a great and decisive part in 
it. As it became a party, it had chiefs. It was not 
merely as leaders of thought but as teachers with their 
disciples, as friends with friends, as witnesses and 
examples of high self-rule and refined purity and 
goodness, that the chiefs whose names were in all 
men's mouths won the hearts and trust of so many, 
in the crowds that stood about them. Foremost, of 
course, ever since he had thrown himself into it in 


1835, was Dr. Pusey. His position, his dignified 
office, his learning, his solidity and seriousness of 
character, his high standard of religious life, the 
charm of his charity, and the sweetness of his temper 
naturally gave him the first place in the movement in 
Oxford and the world. It came to be especially 
associated with him. Its enemies fastened on it a 
nickname from his name, and this nickname, partly 
from a greater smoothness of sound, partly from an 
odd suggestion of something funny in it, came more 
into use than others ; and the terms Puseismus^ 
Puseisme, Puscista found their way into German 
lecture-halls and Paris salons and remote convents 
and police offices in Italy and Sicily ; indeed, in the 
shape of irov^eiafios it might be lighted on in a Greek 
newspaper. Dr. Pusey was a person who commanded 
the utmost interest and reverence; he was more in 
communication with the great world outside than 
Oxford people generally, and lived much in retirement 
from Oxford society; but to all interested in the 
movement he was its representative and highest 
authority. He and Mr. Newman had the fullest 
confidence in one another, though conscious at times 
of not perfect agreement ; yet each had a line of his 
own, and each of them was apt to do things out of 
his own head. Dr. Pusey was accessible to all who 
wished to see him ; but he did not encourage visits 
which wasted time. And the person who was pre- 
eminently, not only before their eyes, but within their 
reach in the ordinary intercourse of man with man, 


was Mr. Newman. Mr. Newman, who lived in 
College in the ordinary way of a resident Fellow, met 
other university men, older or younger, on equal 
terms. As time went on, a certain wonder and awe 
gathered round him. People were a little afraid of 
him ; but the fear was in themselves, not created by 
any intentional stiffness or coldness on his part. He 
did not try to draw men to him, he was no prosely- 
tiser ; he shrank with fear and repugnance from the 
character — it was an invasion of the privileges of the 
heart. 1 But if men came to him, he was accessible ; 
he allowed his friends to bring their friends to him, 
and met them more than half-way. He was impatient 
of mere idle worldliness, of conceit and impertinence, 
of men who gave themselves airs; he was very im- 
patient of pompous and solemn emptiness. But he 
was very patient with those whom he believed to 
sympathise with what was nearest his heart ; no one, 
probably, of his power and penetration and sense of 
the absurd, was ever so ready to comply with the 
two demands which a witty prelate proposed to put 
into the examination in the Consecration Service of 
Bishops: "Wilt thou answer thy letters?" "Wilt 
thou suffer fools gladly?" But courteous, affable, 
easy as he was, he was a keen trier of character ; he 
gauged, and men felt that he gauged, their motives, 
their reality and soundness of purpose ; he let them 

1 ' ' The sagacious and aspiring man of the world, the scrutiniser 
of the heart, the conspirator against its privileges and rights." — 
Prophetical Office of the Church, p. 132. 


see, if they at all came into his intimacy, that if they 
were not, fte, at any rate, was in the deepest earnest. 
And at an early period, in a memorable sermon, 1 the 
vivid impression of which at the time still haunts the 
recollection of some who heard it, he gave warning to 
his friends and to those whom his influence touched, 
that no child's play lay before them ; that they were 
making, it might be without knowing it, the " Ventures 
of Faith." But feeling that he had much to say, and 
that a university was a place for the circulation and 
discussion of ideas, he let himself be seen and known 
and felt, both publicly and in private. He had his 
breakfast parties and his evening gatherings. His con- 
versation ranged widely, marked by its peculiar stamp 
— entire ease, unstudied perfection of apt and clean- 
cut words, unexpected glimpses of a sure and piercing 
judgment. At times, at more private meetings, the 
violin, which he knew how to touch, came into play. 

He had great gifts for leadership. But as a party 
chief he was also deficient in some of the qualities 
which make a successful one. His doctrine of the 
Church had the disadvantage of an apparently inter- 
mediate and ambiguous position, refusing the broad, 
intelligible watchwords and reasonings of popular 
religionism. It was not without clearness and 
strength ; but such a position naturally often leads 
to what seem over-subtle modes of argument, seem- 
ingly over- subtle because deeper and more original 
than the common ones ; and he seemed sometimes to 

1 Parochial Sermons, iv. 20. Feb. 1836. 


want sobriety in his use of dialectic weapons, which 
he wielded with such force and effect. Over-subtlety 
in the leader of a party tends to perplex friends and 
give a handle to opponents. And with all his con- 
fidence in his cause, and also in his power and his call 
to use it, he had a curious shyness and self-distrust 
as to his own way of doing what he had to do ; he 
was afraid of " wilfulness," of too great reliance on 
intellect. He had long been accustomed to observe 
and judge himself, and while conscious of his force, 
he was fully alive to the drawbacks, moral and intel- 
lectual, which wait on the highest powers. When 
attacks were made on him by authorities, as in the 
case of the Tract No. 90, his more eager friends thought 
him too submissive ; they would have liked a more 
combative temper and would not accept his view that 
confidence in him was lost, because it might be 
shaken. 1 But if he bent before official authority the 
disapproval of friends was a severer trouble. Most 
tender in his affections, most trustful in his confi- 
dence, craving for sympathy, it came like a shock and 
chill when things did not go right between himself 
and his friends. He was too sensitive under such 

1 Vide J. B. Mozley, Letters, pp. 114, 115. "Confidence in 
me was lost, but I had already lost confidence in myself. " This, 
to a friend like J. B. Mozley, seemed exaggeration. ' ' Though 
admiring the letter [to the Vice-Chancellor] I confess, for my own 
part, I think a general confession of humility was irrelevant to the 
present occasion, the question being simply on a point of theological 
interpretation. I have always had a prejudice against general con- 
fessions." Mozley plainly thought Newman's attitude too meek: 
he would have liked something more spirited and pugnacious. 


disapproval for a successful party chief. The true 
party leader takes these things as part of that tiresome 
human stupidity and perverseness with which he must 
make his account. Perhaps they sting for the moment, 
but he brushes them away and goes forward, soon for- 
getting them. But with Mr. Newman, his cause was 
identified with his friendships and even his family 
affections. And as a leader, he was embarrassed by 
the keenness with which he sympathised with the 
doubts and fears of friends ; want of sympathy and 
signs of distrust darkened the prospect of the future ; 
they fell like a blight on his stores of hope, never over- 
abundant ; they tempted him, not to assert himself, 
but to throw up the game as convicted of unfitness, 
and retire for good and all to his books and silence. 
"Let them," he seemed to say, "have their way, as 
they will not let me have mine ; they have the right 
to take theirs, only not to make me take it." In spite 
of his enthusiasm and energy, his unceasing work, his 
occasional bursts of severe punishment inflicted on 
those who provoked him, there was always present 
this keen sensitiveness, the source of so much joy and 
so much pain. He would not have been himself 
without it. But he would have been a much more 
powerful and much more formidable combatant if he 
had cared less for what his friends felt, and followed 
more unhesitatingly his own line and judgment. This 
keen sensitiveness made him more quickly alive than 
other people to all that lay round him and before ; 
it made him quicker to discern danger and disaster ; 


it led him to give up hope and to retire from the con- 
test long before he had a right to do so. The experi- 
ence of later years shows that he had despaired too 
soon. Such delicate sensitiveness, leading to im- 
patience, was not capable of coping with the rough 
work involved in the task of reform, which he had 

All this time the four o'clock sermons at St. Mary's 
were always going on. But, besides these, he antici- 
pated a freedom — familiar now, but unknown then — of 
public lecturing. In Advent and after Easter a com- 
pany, never very large, used to gather on a week- 
day afternoon in Adam de Brome's Chapel — the old 
Chapel of " Our Lady of Littlemore " — to hear him 
lecture on some theological subject. It is a dark, 
dreary appendage to St. Mary's on the north side, in 
which Adam de Brome, Edward II.'s almoner, and the 
founder of Oriel College, is supposed to lie, beneath 
an unshapely tomb, covered by a huge slab of Purbeck 
marble, from which the brass has been stripped. The 
place is called a chapel, but is more like a court or 
place of business, for which, indeed, it was used in 
the old days by one of the Faculties of the House of 
Convocation, which held its assemblies there. At the 
end is a high seat and desk for the person presiding, 
and an enclosure and a table for officials below him ; 
and round the rest of the dingy walls run benches 
fixed to the wall, dingy as the walls themselves. But 
it also had another use. On occasions of a university 
sermon, a few minutes before it began, the Heads of 


Houses assembled, as they still assemble, in the chapel, 
ranging themselves on the benches round the walls. 
The Vice-Chancellor has his seat on one side, the 
preacher, with the two Proctors below him, sits 
opposite; and there all sit in their robes, more or 
less grand, according to the day, till the beadle comes 
to announce that it is time to form the procession into 
church. This desolate place Mr. Newman turned into 
his lecture-room ; in it he delivered the lectures which 
afterwards became the volume on the Prophetical 
Character of the Church, or Romanism and Popular 
Protestantism ; the lectures which formed the volume 
on Justification ; those on Antichrist, and on Ration- 
alism a?id the Canon of Scripture, which afterwards 
became Nos. 83 and 85 of the Tracts for the Times} 
The force, the boldness, the freedom from the tram- 
mels of commonplace, the breadth of view and grasp 
of the subject which marked those lectures, may be 
seen in them still. But it is difficult to realise now 
the interest with which they were heard at the time 
by the first listeners to that clear and perfectly modu- 
lated voice, opening to them fresh and original ways 
of regarding questions which seemed worn out and 
exhausted. The volumes which grew out of the 
Adam de Brome lectures were some of the most 
characteristic portions of the theological literature of 
the early movement. They certainly greatly influenced 

1 Rotnanism and Popular Protestantism, from 1834 to 1836, 
published March 1837 ; Justification, after Easter 1837, published 
March 1838 ; Canon of Scripture, published May 1838 ; Anti- 
christ, published June 1838. 


the course of thought in it, and some of its most 
serious issues. 

The movement was not one of mere opinion. It 
took two distinct though connected lines. It was, on 
the one hand, theological; on the other, resolutely 
practical. Theologically, it dealt with great questions 
of religious principle — What is the Church ? Is it a 
reality or a mode of speech ? On what grounds does 
it rest ? How may it be known ? Is it among us ? 
How is it to be discriminated from its rivals or counter- 
feits? What is its essential constitution? What 
does it teach ? What are its shortcomings ? Does it 
need reform ? But, on the other hand, the movement 
was marked by its deep earnestness on the practical 
side of genuine Christian life. Very early in the 
movement (1833) a series of sketches -of primitive 
Christian life appeared in the British Magazine — 
afterwards collected under the title of the Church 
of the Fathers (1840) — to remind people who were 
becoming interested in ancient and patristic theology 
that, besides the doctrines to be found in the vast 
folios of the Fathers, there were to be sought in them 
and laid to heart the temptations and trials, the 
aspirations and moral possibilities of actual life, " the 
tone and modes of thought, the habits and manners of 
the early times of the Church." The note struck in 
the first of Mr. Newman's published sermons — " Holi- 
ness necessary for future blessedness" — was never 
allowed to be out of mind. The movement was, 
above all, a moral one ; it was nothing, allowed to be 


nothing, if it was not this. 1 Seriousness, reverence, 
the fear of insincere words and unsound professions, 
were essential in the character, which alone it would 
tolerate in those who made common cause with it. 

Its ethical tendency was shown in two things, 
which were characteristic of it. One was the increased 
care for the Gospels, and study of them, compared with 
other parts of the Bible. Evangelical theology had 
dwelt upon the work of Christ, and laid comparatively 
little stress on His example, or the picture left us of 
His Personality and Life. It regarded the Epistles 
of St. Paul as the last word of the Gospel message. 
People who can recall the popular teaching, which 
was spoken of then as "sound" and "faithful," and 
" preaching Christ," can remember how the Epistles 
were ransacked for texts to prove the " sufficiency of 
Scripture" or the "right of private judgment," or the 
distinction between justification and sanctification, 
while the Gospel narrative was imperfectly studied and 
was felt to be much less interesting. The movement 
made a great change. The great Name stood no 
longer for an abstract symbol of doctrine, but for a 
living Master, who could teach as well as save. And 
not forgetting whither He had gone and what He was, 

1 Cf. Lyra Apostolica, No. 65 : 

Thou to wax fierce 

In the cause of the Lord ! 

Anger and zeal, 
And the joy of the brave, 
Who bade thee to feel, 
Sin's slave ? 


the readers of Scripture now sought Him eagerly in 
those sacred records, where we can almost see and 
hear His going in and out among men. It was a 
change in the look and use of Scripture, which some 
can still look back to as an epoch in their religious 
history. The other feature was the increased and 
practical sense of the necessity of self-discipline, of 
taking real trouble with one's self to keep thoughts 
and wishes in order, to lay the foundation of habits, 
to acquire the power of self-control. Deeply fixed in 
the mind of the teachers, this serious governance of 
life, this direction and purification of its aims, laid 
strong hold on the consciences of those who accepted 
their teaching. This training was not showy ; it was 
sometimes austere, even extravagantly austere ; but it 
was true, and enduring, and it issued often in a steady 
and unconscious elevation of the religious character. 
How this character was fed and nurtured and en- 
couraged — how, too, it was frankly warned of its 
dangers, may be seen in those Parochial Sermons at 
St. Mary's, under whose inspiration it was developed, 
and which will always be the best commentary on 
the character thus formed. Even among those who 
ultimately parted from the movement, with judgment 
more or less unfavourable to its theology and general 
line, it left, as if uneffaceable, this moral stamp ; this 
value for sincerity and simplicity of feeling and life, 
this keen sense of the awfulness of things unseen. 
There was something sui generis in the profoundly 
serious, profoundly reverent tone, about everything 


that touched religion in all who had ever come 
strongly under its influence. 

Of course the party soon had the faults of a party, 
real and imputed. 1 Is it conceivable that there should 
ever have been a religious movement, which has not 
provoked smiles from those outside of it, and which 
has not lent itself to caricature ? There were weaker 
members of it, and headstrong ones, and imitative 
ones ; there were grotesque and absurd ones ; some 
were deeper, some shallower; some liked it for its 
excitement, and some liked it for its cause ; there were 
those who were for pushing on, and those who were 
for holding back ; there were men of combat, and men 
of peace ; there were those whom it made conceited 
and self-important, and those whom it drove into 
seriousness, anxiety, and retirement. But, whatever 
faults it had, a pure and high spirit ruled in it ; there 
were no disloyal members, and there were none who 
sought their own in it, or thought of high things for 
themselves in joining it. It was this whole-hearted- 
ness, this supreme reverence for moral goodness, more 
even than the great ability of the leaders, and in spite 
of mistakes and failures, which gave its cohesion and 
its momentum to the movement in its earlier stages. 

The state of feeling and opinion among Church- 
men towards the end of 1835, two years after the 
Tracts had begun, is thus sketched by one who was 

1 This weak side was portrayed with severity in a story published 
by Mr. Newman in 1848, after he left the English Church — Loss 
and Gain. 


anxiously observing it, in the preface to the second 
volume of the Tracts (November 1835). 

In completing the second volume of a publication, to 
which the circumstances of the day have given rise, it 
may be right to allude to a change which has taken place 
in them since the date of its commencement. At that 
time, in consequence of long security, the attention of 
members of our Church had been but partially engaged, 
in ascertaining the grounds of their adherence to it ; but 
the imminent peril to all which is dear to them which 
has since been confessed, has naturally turned their 
thoughts that way, and obliged them to defend it on one 
or other of the principles which are usually put forward 
in its behalf. Discussions have thus been renewed in 
various quarters, on points which had long remained un- 
disturbed ; and though numbers continue undecided in 
opinion, or take up a temporary position in some one 
of the hundred middle points which may be assumed 
between the two main theories in which the question 
issues ; and others, again, have deliberately entrenched 
themselves in the modern or ultra-Protestant alternative ; 
yet, on the whole, there has been much hearty and 
intelligent adoption, and much respectful study, of those 
more primitive views maintained by our great Divines. 
As the altered state of public information and opinion 
has a necessary bearing on the efforts of those who 
desire to excite attention to the subject (in which number 
the writers of these Tracts are to be included), it will 
not be inappropriate briefly to state in this place what 
it is conceived is the present position of the great body 
of Churchmen with reference to it. 


While we have cause to be thankful for the sounder 
and more accurate language, which is now very gener- 
ally adopted among well-judging men on ecclesiastical 
subjects, we must beware of over-estimating what has 
been done, and so becoming sanguine in our hopes of 
success, or slackening our exertions to secure it. Many 
more persons, doubtless, have taken up a profession of 
the main doctrine in question, that, namely, of the one 
Catholic and Apostolic Church, than fully enter into it. 
This was to be expected, it being the peculiarity of all 
religious teaching, that words are imparted before ideas. 
A child learns his Creed or Catechism before he under- 
stands it ; and in beginning any deep subject we are all 
but children to the end of our lives. The instinctive 
perception of a rightly instructed mind, the primd facie 
force of the argument, or the authority of our celebrated 
writers, have all had their due and extensive influence in 
furthering the reception of the doctrine, when once it 
was openly maintained ; to which must be added the 
prospect of the loss of State protection, which made it 
necessary to look out for other reasons for adherence to 
the Church besides that of obedience to the civil magis- 
trate. Nothing which has spread quickly has been 
received thoroughly. Doubtless there are a number of 
seriously-minded persons who think that they admit the 
doctrine in question much more fully than they do, and 
who would be startled at seeing that realised in particulars 
which they confess in an abstract form. Many there 
are who do not at all feel that it is capable of a practical 
application ; and while they bring it forward on special 
occasions, in formal expositions of faith, or in answer to 
a direct interrogatory, let it slip from their minds almost 


entirely in their daily conduct or their religious teaching, 
from the long and inveterate habit of thinking and acting 
without it. We must not, then, at all be surprised at 
finding that to modify the principles and motives on 
which men act is not the work of a day ; nor at under- 
going disappointments, at witnessing relapses, miscon- 
ceptions, sudden disgusts, and, on the other hand, abuses 
and perversions of the true doctrine, in the case of those 
who have taken it up with more warmth than discern- 

From the end of 1835, or the beginning of 1836, 
the world outside of Oxford began to be alive to the 
force and the rapid growth of this new and, to the 
world at large, not very intelligible movement. The 
ideas which had laid hold so powerfully on a number 
of leading minds in the University began to work 
with a spell, which seemed to many inexplicable, on 
others unconnected with them. This rapidity of ex- 
pansion, viewed as a feature of a party, was noticed 
on all sides, by enemies no less than friends. In an 
article in the British Critic of April 1839, by Mr. 
Newman, on the State of Religious Parties, the fact is 
illustrated from contemporary notices. 

There is at the present moment a reaction in the 
Church, and a growing reaction, towards the views 
which it has been the endeavours [of the Tract writers] 
and, as it seemed at the commencement, almost hopeless 
e?ideavonrs, to advocate. The fairness of the prospect 
at present is proved by the attack made on them by the 
public journals, and is confessed by the more candid and 


the more violent among their opponents. Thus the 
amiable Mr. Bickersteth speaks of it as having mani- 
fested itself " with the most ?'apid growth of the hot-bed 
of these evil days." The scoffing author of the Via 
Media says : " At this moment the Via is crowded with 
young enthusiasts who never presume to argue, except 
against the propriety of arguing at all." The candid 
Mr. Baden-Powell, who sees more of the difficulties of 
the controversy than the rest of their antagonists put 
together, says that it is clear that " these views . . . 
have been extensively adopted, and are daily gaining 
ground among a considerable and influential portion of 
the members, as well as the ministers of the Established 
Church." The author of the Natural History of Enthu- 
siasm says : " The spread of these doctrines is in fact 
having the effect of rendering all other distinctions 
obsolete. Soon there will be no middle ground left, 
and every man, especially every clergyman, will be com- 
pelled to make his choice between the two." . . . The 
Bishop of Chester speaks of the subject " daily assuming 
a more serious and alarming aspect " : a gossiping writer 
of the moment describes these doctrines as having in- 
sinuated themselves not only into popular churches and 
fashionable chapels, and the columns of newspapers, but 
" into the House of Commons." 

And the writer of the article goes on : — 

Now, if there be any truth in these remarks, it is 
plainly idle and perverse to refer the change of opinions 
which is now going on to the acts of two or three indi- 
viduals, as is sometimes done. Of course every event 


in human affairs has a beginning ; and a beginning 
implies a when, and a where, and a by whom, and how. 
But except in these necessary circumstances, the pheno- 
menon in question is in a manner quite independent of 
things visible and historical. It is not here or there ; 
it has no progress, no causes, no fortunes : it is not a 
movement, it is a spirit, it is a spirit afloat, neither " in 
the secret chambers " nor " in the desert," but every- 
where. It is within us, rising up in the heart where it 
was least expected, and working its way, though not in 
secret, yet so subtly and impalpably, as hardly to admit 
of precaution or encounter on any ordinary human rules 
of opposition. It is an adversary in the air, a something 
one and entire, a whole wherever it is, unapproachable 
and incapable of being grasped, as being the result of 
causes far deeper than political or other visible agencies, 
the spiritual awakening of spiritual wants. 

Nothing can show more strikingly the truth of this 
representation than to refer to what may be called the 
theological history of the individuals who, whatever be 
their differences from each other on important or unim- 
portant points, yet are associated together in the advocacy 
of the doctrines in question. Dr. Hook and Mr. Churton 
represent the High Church dignitaries of the last genera- 
tion ; Mr. Perceval, the Tory aristocracy ; Mr. Keble is 
of the country clergy, and comes from valleys and woods, 
far removed both from notoriety and noise ; Mr. Palmer 
and Mr. Todd are of Ireland ; Dr. Pusey became what 
he is from among the Universities of Germany, and after 
a severe and tedious analysis of Arabic MSS. Mr. Dods- 
worth is said to have begun in the study of Prophecy ; 
Mr. Newman to have been much indebted to the friend- 


ship of Archbishop Whately ; Mr. Froude, if any one, 
gained his views from his own mind. Others have 
passed over from Calvinism and kindred religions. 

Years afterwards, and in changed circumstances, 
the same writer has left the following record of what 
came before his experience in those years : — l 

From beginnings so small (I said), from elements of 
thought so fortuitous, with prospects so unpromising, the 
Anglo-Catholic party suddenly became a power in the 
National Church, and an object of alarm to her rulers 
and friends. Its originators would have found it difficult 
to say what they aimed at of a practical kind : rather, 
they put forth views and principles, for their own sake, 
because they were true, as if they were obliged to say 
them ; and, as they might be themselves surprised at 
their earnestness in uttering them, they had as great 
cause to be surprised at the success which attended 
their propagation. And, in fact, they could only say 
that those doctrines were in the air ; that to assert was 
to prove, and that to explain was to persuade ; and that 
the movement in which they were taking part was the 
birth of a crisis rather than of a place. In a very few 
years a school of opinion was formed, fixed in its prin- 
ciples, indefinite and progressive in their range ; and it 
extended itself into every part of the country. If we 
inquire what the world thought of it, we have still more 
to raise our wonder ; for, not to mention the excitement 
it caused in England, the movement and its party-names 

1 Apologia, p. 156. 


were known to the police of Italy and to the backwoods- 
men of America. And so it proceeded, getting stronger 
and stronger every year, till it came into collision with 
the Nation and that Church of the Nation, which it 
began by professing especially to serve. 



The Hampden controversy had contributed to bring 
to the front a question, which from the first starting 
of the Tracts had made itself felt, but which now 
became a pressing one. If the Church of England 
claimed to be part of the Catholic Church, what was 
the answer of the Church of England to the claims 
and charges of the Church of Rome ? What were the 
true distinctions between the doctrines of the two 
Churches on the great points on which they were 
supposed to be at issue? The vague outcry of 
Popery had of course been raised both against the 
general doctrine of the Church, enforced in the Tracts, 
and against special doctrines and modes of speaking, 
popularly identified with Romanism ; and the answer 
had been an appeal to the authority of the most 
learned and authoritative of our writers. But, of 
course, to the general public this learning was new ; 
and the cry went on with a dreary and stupid mono- 
tony. But the charges against Ur. Hampden led his 


defenders to adopt as their best weapon an aggressive 
policy. To the attack on his orthodoxy, the counter 
buffet was the charge against his chief opponents of 
secret or open Romanising. In its keenest and most 
popular form it was put forth in a mocking pamphlet 
written probably under Whately's inspiration by his 
most trusted confidant, Dr. Dickinson, in which, in 
the form of a " Pastoral Epistle from his Holiness the 
Pope to some Members of the University of Oxford," 
the Tract-writers are made to appear as the emissaries 
and secret tools of Rome, as in a jcu d'esprit of 
Whately's they are made to appear as the veiled 
prophets of infidelity. 1 It was clever, but not clever 
enough to stand, at least in Oxford, against Dr. 
Pusey's dignified and gravely earnest Remonstrance 
against its injustice and trifling. But the fire of all 
Dr. Hampden's friends had been drawn on the leaders 
of the movement. With them, and almost alone with 
them, the opposition to him was made a personal 
matter. As time went on, those who had been as 
hot as they against Dr. Hampden managed to get 
their part in the business forgotten. Old scores 
between Orthodox, Evangelicals, and Liberals were 
wiped out, and the Tractarians w^ere left to bear 
alone the odium of the " persecution " of Dr. Hamp- 
den. It must be said that they showed no signs of 
caring for it. 

But the Roman controversy was looming in earnest, 
and it was idle to expect to keep it long out of sight. 

1 Whately's Life, ed. 1875, pp. 187-190. 


The Tracts had set forth with startling vehemence 
the forgotten claims of the Church. One reason why 
this had been done was the belief, as stated in the first 
volume of them, "that nothing but these neglected 
doctrines, faithfully preached, will repress the exten- 
sion of Popery, for which the ever-multiplying divisions 
of the religious world are too clearly preparing the 
way." 1 The question, What is the Church? was one 
which the conditions of the times would not permit 
men any longer to leave alone. It had become 
urgent to meet it clearly and decisively. ; * "We could 
not move a step in comfort till this was done." 2 " The 
controversy with the Romanists," writes Mr. Newman 
in No. 71 of the Tracts, about the end of 1835, "has 
overtaken us 'like a summer's cloud.' We find our- 
selves in various parts of the country preparing for it, 
yet, when we look back, we cannot trace the steps by 
which we arrived at our present position. We do not 
recollect what our feelings were this time last year on 
the subject ; what was the state of our apprehensions 
and anticipations. All we know is, that here we are, 
from long security ignorant why we are not Roman 
Catholics, and they on the other side are said to be 
spreading and strengthening on all sides of us, vaunt- 
ing of their success, real or apparent, and taunting us 
with our inability to argue with them." 

The attitude taken by Mr. Newman at this time, 
as regards the Roman Church, both in the Tracts and 

1 Advertisement to vol. i. 1st Nov. 1834. 
2 Apologia, p. 139. 


in his book on Romanism and Popular Protestantism, 
published in the early months of 1836, was a new one. 
He had started, as he tells us, with the common belief 
that the Pope was Antichrist, and that the case was so 
clear against the whole system, doctrinal and practical, 
of the Church of Rome, that it scarcely needed further 
examination. His feeling against Rome had been 
increased by the fierce struggle about Emancipation, 
and by the political conduct of the Roman Catholic 
party afterwards ; and his growing dissatisfaction with 
the ordinary Protestantism had no visible effect in 
softening this feeling. Hurrell Froude's daring ques- 
tions had made his friends feel that there might be 
more to be known about the subject than they yet 
knew; yet what the fellow-travellers saw of things 
abroad in their visit to the South in 1832 did not 
impress them favourably. " They are wretched Tri- 
dentines everywhere," was Froude's comment. But 
attention had been drawn to the subject, and its deep 
interest and importance and difficulty recognised. Men 
began to read with new eyes. Froude's keen and 
deep sense of shortcomings at home disposed him to 
claim equity and candour in judging of the alleged 
faults and corruptions of the Church abroad. It 
did more, it disposed him — naturally enough, but 
still unfairly, and certainly without adequate know- 
ledge — to treat Roman shortcomings with an indul- 
gence which he refused to English. Mr. Newman, 
knowing more, and more comprehensive in his view 
of things, and therefore more cautious and guarded 


than Froude, was much less ready to allow a favourable 
interpretation of the obvious allegations against Rome. 
But thought and reading, and the authority of our 
own leading divines, had brought him to the conviction 
that whatever was to be said against the modern 
Roman Church — and the charges against it were 
very heavy — it was still, amid serious corruption and 
error, a teacher to the nations of the Christian creed 
and hope ; it had not forfeited, any more than the 
English Church, its title to be a part of that historic 
body which connects us with the Apostles of our Lord. 
It had a strong and consistent theory to oppose to its 
assailants ; it had much more to say for itself than the 
popular traditions supposed. This was no new idea 
in Anglican divinity, however ill it might sort with the 
current language of Protestant controversy. But our 
old divines, more easily satisfied than we with the 
course of things at home under the protection of the 
Stuart kings, and stung to bitter recrimination by 
the insults and the unscrupulous political intrigues of 
Roman Catholic agents, had exhausted the language 
of vituperation against a great aggressive rival, which 
was threatening everything that they held dear. They 
had damaged their own character for fairness, and 
overlaid their substantial grounds of objection and 
complaint, by this unbalanced exaggeration. Mr. 
Newman, in his study of these matters, early saw both 
the need and the difficulty of discrimination in the 
Roman controversy. It had to be waged, not as of 
old, with penal legislation behind, but against adver- 


saries who could now make themselves listened to, 
and before a public sufficiently robust in its Protestant- 
ism, to look with amused interest on a dialectical 
triumph of the Roman over the Anglican claims. 
Romanism, he thought, was fatal both to his recent 
hopes for the English Church, and to the honour and 
welfare of Christianity at large. But in opposing it, 
ground loosely taken of old must be carefully ex- 
amined, and if untenable, abandoned. Arguments 
which proved too much, which availed against any 
Church at all, must be given up. Popular objections, 
arising from ignorance or misconception, must be re- 
duced to their true limits or laid aside. The controversy 
was sure to be a real one, and nothing but what was 
real and would stand scrutiny was worth anything in it. 
Mr. Newman had always been impressed with 
the greatness of the Roman Church. Of old it had 
seemed to him great with the greatness of Antichrist. 
Now it seemed great with the strange weird greatness 
of a wonderful mixed system, commanding from its 
extent of sway and its imperial authority, complicated 
and mysterious in its organisation and influence, in its 
devotion and its superstitions, and surpassing every 
other form of religion both in its good and its evil. l 

1 Vide Lyra Apostolica, Nos. 170, 172 : 

How shall I name thee, Light of the wide West, 

Or heinous error-seat ? . . . 
Oh, that thy creed were sound ! 

For thou dost soothe the heart, thou Church of Rome, 
By thy unwearied watch and varied round 
Of service, in thy Saviour's holy home. 

And comp. No. 171, The Cruel Church. 


What now presented itself to Mr. Newman's thoughts, 
instead of the old notion of a pure Church on one 
side, and a corrupt Church on the other, sharply 
opposed to one another, was the more reasonable 
supposition of two great portions of the divided 
Church, each with its realities of history and fact and 
character, each with its special claims and excellences, 
each with its special sins and corruptions, and neither 
realising in practice and fact all it professed to be on 
paper ; each of which further, in the conflicts of past 
days, had deeply, almost unpardonably, wronged the 
other. The Church of England was in possession, 
with its own call and its immense work to do, and 
striving to do it. Whatever the Church of Rome was 
abroad, it was here an intruder and a disturber. That 
to his mind was the fact and the true position of 
things ; and this ought to govern the character and 
course of controversy. The true line was not to 
denounce and abuse wholesale, not to attack with any 
argument, good or bad, not to deny or ignore what 
was solid in the Roman ground, and good and elevated 
in the Roman system, but admitting all that fairly 
ought to be admitted, to bring into prominence, not 
for mere polemical denunciation, but for grave and 
reasonable and judicial condemnation, all that was 
extravagant and arrogant in Roman assumptions, and 
all that was base, corrupt, and unchristian in the popular 
religion, which, with all its claims to infallibility and 
authority, Rome not only permitted but encouraged. 
For us to condemn Rome wholesale, as was ordinarily 


the fashion, even in respectable writers, was as wrong, 
as unfair, as unprofitable to the cause of truth and 
Christianity, as the Roman charges against us were 
felt by us to be ignorant and unjust. Rome professes 
like England to continue the constitution, doctrine, 
traditions, and spirit of the ancient and undivided 
Church : and so far as she does so — and she does so 
in a great degree — we can have no quarrel with her. 
But in a great degree also, she does this only in pro- 
fession and as a theory : she claims the witness and 
suffrage of antiquity, but she interprets it at her own 
convenience and by her own authority. We cannot 
claim exemption from mistakes, from deviations from 
our own standard and principles, any more than Rome ; 
but while she remains as she is, and makes the mon- 
strous claims of infallibility and supremacy, there is 
nothing for English Churchmen but to resist her. 
Union is impossible. Submission is impossible. 
What we have to beware of for our own sake, as well 
as for our cause, are false arguments, unreal objections, 
ignorant allegations. There is enough on the very 
surface, in her audacious assertions and high-handed 
changes, for popular arguments against her, without 
having recourse to exaggeration and falsehood ; she 
may be a very faulty Church, without being Babylon 
and Antichrist. And in the higher forms of argument, 
there is abundance in those provinces of ancient 
theology and ecclesiastical history and law, which Pro- 
testant controversialists have commonly surrendered 
and left open to their opponents, to supply a more 


telling weapon than any which these controversialists 
have used. 

This line, though substantially involved in the 
theory of our most learned divines, from Andrewes 
to Wake, was new in its moderation and reasonable 
caution ; in its abstention from insult and vague 
abuse, in its recognition of the prima facie strength 
of much of the Roman case, in its fearless attempt, 
in defiance of the deepest prejudices, to face the 
facts and conditions of the question. Mr. Newman 
dared to know and to acknowledge much that our 
insular self-satisfaction did not know, and did not 
care to know, of real Christian life in the Church of 
Rome. He dared to admit that much that was 
popularly held to be Popish was ancient, Catholic, 
edifying; he dared to warn Churchmen that the 
loose unsifted imputations, so securely hazarded 
against Rome, were both discreditable and danger- 
ous. All this, from one whose condemnation of 
Rome was decisive and severe, was novel. The 
attempt, both in its spirit and its ability, was not 
unworthy of being part of the general effort to raise 
the standard of thought and teaching in the English 
Church. It recalled men from slovenly prejudices 
to the study of the real facts of the living world. It 
narrowed the front of battle, but it strengthened it 
enormously. The volume on Romanism and Popular 
Protestant 'is m is not an exhaustive survey of the con- 
troversy with Rome or of the theory of the Church. 
There are great portions of the subject, both theo- 


logical and historical, which it did not fall within the 
scope of the book to touch. It was unsystematic 
and incomplete. But so far as its argument ex- 
tended, it almost formed an epoch in this kind of 
controversial writing. It showed the command of a 
man of learning over all the technical points and 
minutiae of a question highly scholastical in its con- 
ceptions and its customary treatment, and it pre- 
sented this question in its bearings and consequences 
on life and practice with the freedom and breadth of 
the most vigorous popular writing. The indictment 
against Rome was no vague or general one. It was 
one of those arguments which cut the ground from 
under a great established structure of reasonings and 
proofs. And its conclusions, clear and measured, 
but stern, were the more impressive, because they 
came from one who did not disguise his feeling that 
there was much in what was preserved in the Roman 
system to admire and to learn from. 

The point which he chose for his assault was 
indeed the key of the Roman position — the doctrine 
of Infallibility. He was naturally led to this side of 
the question by the stress which the movement had 
laid on the idea of the Church as the witness and 
teacher of revealed truth : and the immediate chal- 
lenge given by the critics or opponents of the move- 
ment was, how to distinguish this lofty idea of the 
Church, with its claim to authority, if it was at all 
substantial, from the imposing and consistent theory 
of Romanism. He urged against the Roman claim 


of Infallibility two leading objections. One was the 
way in which the assumed infallibility of the present 
Church was made to override and supersede, in fact, 
what in words was so ostentatiously put forward, the 
historical evidence of antiquity to doctrine, expressed 
by the phrase, the "consent of the Fathers." The 
other objection was the inherent contradiction of the 
notion of infallibility to the conditions of human 
reception of teaching and knowledge, and its practical 
uselessness as an assurance of truth, its partly delu- 
sive, partly mischievous, working. But he felt, as all 
deep minds must feel, that it is easier to overthrow 
the Roman theory of Church authority than to re- 
place it by another, equally complete and command- 
ing, and more unassailable. He was quite alive to 
the difficulties of the Anglican position ; but he was 
a disciple in the school of Bishop Butler, and had 
learned as a first principle to recognise the limitations 
of human knowledge, and the unphilosophical folly 
of trying to round off into finished and pretentious 
schemes our fragmentary yet certain notices of our 
own condition and of God's dealings with it. He 
followed his teacher in insisting on the reality and 
importance of moral evidence as opposed to demon- 
strative proof; and he followed the great Anglican 
divines in asserting that there was a true authority, 
varying in its degrees, in the historic Church ; that 
on the most fundamental points of religion this 
authority was trustworthy and supreme ; that on 
many other questions it was clear and weighty, 


though it could not decide everything. This view 
of the "prophetical office of the Church" had the 
dialectical disadvantage of appearing to be a com- 
promise, to many minds a fatal disadvantage. It got 
the name of the Via Media ; a satisfactory one to 
practical men like Dr. Hook, to whom it recom- 
mended itself for use in popular teaching ; but to 
others, in aftertimes, an ill-sounding phrase of dislike, 
which summed up the weakness of the Anglican case. 
Yet it only answered to the certain fact, that in the 
early and undivided Church there was such a thing 
as authority, and there was no such thing known as 
Infallibility. It was an appeal to the facts of history 
and human nature against the logical exigencies of 
a theory. Men must transcend the conditions of our 
experience if they want the certainty which the theory 
of Infallibility speaks of. 

There were especially two weak points in this view 
of Anglicanism. Mr. Newman felt and admitted 
them, and of course they were forced on his attention 
by controversialists on both sides ; by the Ultra- 
Protestant school, whose modes of dealing with 
Scripture he had exposed with merciless logic, and 
by the now eager Roman disputants, of whom Dr. 
Wiseman was the able and not over-scrupulous chief. 
The first of these points was that the authority of the 
undivided Church, which Anglicanism invoked, though 
it completely covered the great foundations of Chris- 
tian doctrine, our faith as to the nature of God, did 
not cover with equal completeness other important 


points of controversy, such as those raised at the 
Reformation as to the Sacraments, and the justifica- 
tion of the sinner. The Anglican answer was that 
though the formal and conciliar authority was not the 
same in each case, the patristic literature of the time 
of the great councils, all that it took for granted 
and preserved as current belief and practice, all that 
resulted from the questions and debates of the time, 
formed a body of proof, which carried with it moral 
evidence only short of authoritative definition, and 
was so regarded in the Anglican formularies. These 
formularies implied the authority of the Church to 
speak ; and what was defined on this authority was 
based on good evidence, though there were portions 
of its teaching which had even better. The other 
point was more serious. "Your theory," was the 
objection, " is nothing but a paper theory ; it never 
was a reality ; it never can be. There may be an 
ideal halting-place, there is neither a logical nor an 
actual one, between Romanism and the ordinary 
negations of Protestantism." The answer to the 
challenge then was, " Let us see if it cannot be 
realised. It has recognised foundations to build 
upon, and the impediments and interruptions which 
have hindered it are well known. Let us see if it 
will not turn out something more than a paper 
theory." That was the answer given at the time, 
abandoned ten years afterwards. But this at least 
may be said, that the longer experience of the last 
fifty years has shown that the Church of England 


has been working more and more on such a theory, 
and that the Church of England, whatever its 
faults may be, is certainly not a Church only on 

But on the principles laid down in this volume, 
the Roman controversy, in its varying forms, was 
carried on — for the time by Mr. Newman, perma- 
nently by the other leaders of the movement. In its 
main outlines, the view has become the accepted 
Anglican view. Many other most important matters 
have come into the debate. The publicly altered 
attitude of the Papacy has indefinitely widened the 
breach between England and Rome. But the funda- 
mental idea of the relations and character of the two 
Churches remains the same as it was shadowed forth 
in 1836. 

One very important volume on these questions 
ought not to be passed by without notice. This was 
the Treatise on the Church of Christ, 1838, by Mr. 
W. Palmer, who had already by his Origines of the 
English Ritual, 1832, done much to keep up that 
interest of Churchmen in the early devotional lan- 
guage of the Church, which had first been called forth 
by Bishop Lloyd's lectures on the Prayer Book. 
The Treatise on the Church was an honour to English 
theology and learning ; in point of plan and structure 
we have few books like it. 1 It is comprehensive, 

1 "The most important theological work which has lately 
appeared is Mr. Palmer's Treatise on the Church. . . . Whatever 
judgment may be formed of the conclusions to which he has come 


methodical, well-compacted, and, from its own point 
of view, exhaustive. It is written with full knowledge 
of the state of the question at the time, both on the 
Anglican side and on the Roman. Its author evades 
no objection, and is aware of most. It is rigorous in 
form, and has no place for anything but substantial 
argument. It is a book which, as the Apologia tells 
us, commanded the respect of such an accomplished 
controversialist as Perrone ; and, it may be added, of 
a theologian of an opposite school, Dr. Dollinger. 
It is also one on which the highest value has been 
set by Mr. Gladstone. It is remarkable that it did 
not exercise more influence on religious thought in 
Oxford at the critical time when it appeared. But it 
had defects, and the moment was against it. It was 
dry and formal — inevitably so, from the scientific 
plan deliberately adopted for it ; it treated as problems 
of the theological schools, to be discussed by the 
rules of severe and passionless disputation, questions 
which were once more, after the interval of more than 
a century, beginning to touch hearts and consciences, 
and were felt to be fraught with the gravest practical 
issues. And Mr. Newman, in his mode of dealing 

on the variety of points which he had to consider, we cannot 
contemplate without admiration, and (if it were right) without 
envy, the thorough treatment which his subject has received at his 
hands. It is indeed a work quite in character with the religious 
movement which has commenced in various parts of the Church, 
displaying a magnificence of design similar to that of the Bishop 
of London's plan of fifty new churches, and Dr. Pusey, of Oxford's, 
projected translation of the Fathers." — Brit. Crit. July 1838. 
Short Notices. 


with them, unsystematic, incomplete, unsatisfactory 
in many ways as it w r as, yet saw in them not abstract 
and scholastic inquiries, however important, but 
matters in which not only sound argument, but 
sympathy and quick intelligence of the conditions 
and working of the living minds around him, were 
needed to w T in their attention and interest. To per- 
sons accustomed to Mr. Newman's habit of mind and 
way of writing, his ease, his frankness, his candour, 
his impatience of conventionality, his piercing insight 
into the very centre of questions, his ever -ready 
recognition of nature and reality, his range of thought, 
his bright and clear and fearless style of argument, 
his undisplayed but never unfelt consciousness of the 
true awfulness of anything connected with religion, 
any stiff and heavy way of treating questions which 
he had treated would have seemed unattractive and 
unpersuasive. He had spoiled his friends for any 
mere technical handling, however skilful, of great and 
critical subjects. He himself pointed out in a review 
the unique merit and the real value of Mr. Palmer's 
book, pointing out also, significantly enough, where 
it fell short, both in substance and in manner. 
Observing that the "scientific" system of the English 
Church is not yet "sufficiently cleared and adjusted," 
and adding a variety of instances of this deficiency, 
he lets us see what he wanted done, where difficulties 
most pressed upon himself, and where Mr. Palmer 
had missed the real substance of such difficulties. 
Looking at it by the light of after-events, we can see 


the contradiction and reaction produced by Mr. 
Palmer's too optimist statements. Still, Mr. New- 
man's praise was sincere and discriminating. But 
Mr. Palmer's book, though never forgotten, scarcely 
became, what it at another time might well have 
become, an English text-book. 



The first seven years of the movement, as it is said 
in the Apologia, had been years of prosperity. There 
had been mistakes ; there had been opposition ; there 
had been distrust and uneasiness. There was in 
some places a ban on the friends of Mr. Newman ; 
men like Mr. James Mozley and Mr. Mark Pattison 
found their connexion with him a difficulty in the 
way of fellowships. But on the whole, things had 
gone smoothly, without any great breakdown, or any- 
open collision with authority. But after 1840 another 
period was to begin of trouble and disaster. The 
seeds of this had been partially sown before in the 
days of quiet, and the time was come for their 
development. Differences in the party itself had 
been growing sharper ; differences between the more 
cautious and the more fearless, between the more 
steady- going and the more subtle thinkers. The 
contrast between the familiar and customary, and the 
new — between the unknown or forgotten, and a mass 

chap, xii CHANGES 219 

of knowledge only recently realised — became more 
pronounced. Consequences of a practical kind, real 
or supposed, began to show themselves, and to press. 
And above all, a second generation, without the 
sobering experience of the first, was starting from 
where the first had reached to, and, in some instances, 
was rising up against their teachers' caution and 
patience. The usual dangers of all earnest and 
aggressive assertions of great principles appeared : 
contempt for everything in opinion and practice that 
was not advanced, men vying with each other in bold 
inferences, in the pleasure of "talking strong." With 
this grew fear and exasperation on the other side, 
misunderstandings, misgivings, strainings of mutual 
confidence, within. Dr. Hook alternated between 
violent bursts of irritation and disgust, and equally 
strong returns of sympathy, admiration, and gratitude ; 
and he represented a large amount of feeling among 
Churchmen. It was but too clear that storms were 
at hand. They came perhaps quicker than they were 

Towards the end of 1838, a proposal was brought 
forward, for which in its direct aspect much might 
plausibly be said, but which was in intention and 
indirectly a test question, meant to put the Tract- 
arians in a difficulty, and to obtain the weight of 
authority in the University against them. It was 
proposed to raise a subscription, and to erect a 
monument in Oxford, to the martyrs of the Reforma- 
tion, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer. Considering 


that the current and popular language dated the 
Church of England from the Reformation of the 
sixteenth century, and cited the Reformers as ultimate 
and paramount authorities on its doctrine, there 
was nothing unreasonable in such a proposal. Dr. 
Hook, strong Churchman as he was, "called to 
union on the principles of the English Reformation." 
But the criticism which had been set afloat by 
the movement had discovered and realised, what de- 
fenders of the English Church had hitherto felt it 
an act of piety to disbelieve, when put before them 
by Romanists like Lingard, and radicals like Cobbett, 
that the Reformers had been accomplices in many 
indefensible acts, and had been inconsistent and 
untrustworthy theologians. Providentially, it was felt, 
the force of old convictions and tradition and the 
historical events of the time had obliged them to 
respect the essentials of Catholic truth and polity and 
usage ; we owed to them much that was beautiful 
and devotional in the Prayer Book ; and their 
Articles, clear in all matters decided by the early 
theology, avoided foreign extremes in dealing with 
later controversies. But their own individual lan- 
guage was often far in advance of the public and 
official language of formularies, in the direction of 
the great Protestant authorities of Geneva and Zurich. 
There were still, even among the movement party, 
many who respected the Reformers for the work 
which they had attempted, and partly and imperfectly 
done, to be more wisely and soberly carried on by 

xii CHANGES 221 

their successors of the seventeenth century. But the 
charges against their Calvinistic and even Zwinglian 
language were hard to parry; even to those who 
respected them for their connexion with our present 
order of things, their learning, their soundness, their 
authority appeared to be greatly exaggerated ; and 
the reaction from excessive veneration made others 
dislike and depreciate them. This was the state of 
feeling when the Martyrs' Memorial was started. It 
was eagerly pressed with ingenious and persevering 
arguments by Air. Golightly, the indefatigable and 
long-labouring opponent of all that savoured of 
Tractarianism. The appeal seemed so specious 
that at first many even of the party gave in their 
adhesion. Even Dr. Pusey was disposed to subscribe 
to it. But Air. Newman, as was natural, held aloof; 
and his friends for the most part did the same. It 
was what was expected and intended. They were 
either to commit themselves to the Reformation as 
understood by the promoters of the Memorial ; or 
they were to be marked as showing their disloyalty to 
it. The subscription was successful. The Memorial 
was set up, and stood, a decisive though unofficial 
sign of the judgment of the University against them. 

But the " Memorial " made little difference to the 
progress of the movement. It was an indication of 
hostility in reserve, but this was all ; it formed an 
ornament to the city, but failed as a religious and 
effective protest. Up to the spring of 1839, Angli- 
canism, placed on an intellectual basis by Mr. New- 


man, developed practically in different ways by Dr. 
Pusey and Dr. Hook, sanctioned in theory by divines 
who represented the old divinity of the English 
Church, like Bishop Phillpotts and Mr. H. J. Rose, 
could speak with confident and hopeful voice. It 
might well seem that it was on its way to win over 
the coming generations of the English clergy. It 
had on its side all that gives interest and power 
to a cause,— thought, force of character, unselfish 
earnestness ; it had unity of idea and agreement in 
purpose, and was cemented by the bonds of warm 
affection and common sympathies. It had the 
promise of a nobler religion, as energetic and as 
spiritual as Puritanism and Wesleyanism, while it 
drew its inspiration, its canons of doctrine, its moral 
standards, from purer and more venerable sources ; — 
from communion, not with individual teachers and 
partial traditions, but with the consenting teaching 
and authoritative documents of the continuous 
Catholic Church. 

Anglicanism was agreed, up to this time — the 
summer of 1839 — as to its general principles. Charges 
of an inclination to Roman views had been promptly 
and stoutly met ; nor was there really anything but 
the ignorance or ill-feeling of the accusers to throw 
doubt on the sincerity of these disavowals. The 
deepest and strongest mind in the movement was 
satisfied ; and his steadiness of conviction could be 
appealed to if his followers talked wildly and rashly. 
He had kept one unwavering path ; he had not 



shrunk from facing with fearless honesty the real 
living array of reasons which the most serious Roman 
advocates could put forward. With a frankness new 
in controversy, he had not been afraid to state them 
with a force which few of his opponents could have 
put forth. With an eye ever open to that supreme 
Judge of all our controversies, who listens to them 
on His throne on high, he had with conscientious 
fairness admitted what he saw to be good and just on 
the side of his adversaries, conceded what in the 
confused wrangle of conflicting claims he judged 
ought to be conceded. But after all admissions and 
all concessions, the comparative strength of his own 
case appeared all the more undeniable. He had 
stripped it of its weaknesses, its incumbrances, its 
falsehoods ; and it did not seem the weaker for being 
presented in its real aspect and on its real grounds. 
People felt that he had gone to the bottom of the 
question as no one had yet dared to do. He was yet 
staunch in his convictions ; and they could feel 

But a change was at hand. In the course of 
1839, the little cloud showed itself in the outlook of 
the future ; the little rift opened, small and hardly 
perceptible, which was to widen into an impassable 
gulf. Anglicanism started with undoubted confidence 
in its own foundations and its own position, as much 
against Romanism as against the more recent forms 
of religion. In the consciousness of its strength, it 
could afford to make admissions and to refrain from 


tempting but unworthy arguments in controversy 
with Rome ; indeed the necessity of such controversy 
had come upon it unexpectedly and by surprise. 
With English frankness, in its impatience of abuses 
and desire for improvement within, it had dwelt 
strongly on the faults and shortcomings of the English 
Church which it desired to remedy ; but while 
allowing what was undeniably excellent in Rome, it had 
been equally outspoken and emphatic in condemna- 
tion of the evils of Rome. What is there to wonder 
at in such a position ? It is the position of every 
honest reforming movement, at least in England. 
But Anglican self-reliance was unshaken, and Anglican 
hope waxed stronger as the years went on, and the 
impression made by Anglican teaching became 
wider and deeper. Outside attacks, outside persecu- 
tion, could now do little harm ; the time was past for 
that. What might have happened had things gone 
on as they began, it is idle to inquire. But at the 
moment when all seemed to promise fair, the one 
fatal influence, the presence of internal uncertainty 
and doubt, showed itself. The body of men who had 
so far acted together began to show a double aspect. 
While one portion of it continued on the old lines, 
holding the old ground, defending the old principles, 
and attempting to apply them for the improvement 
of the practical system of the English Church, 
another portion had asked the question, and were 
pursuing the anxious inquiry, whether the English 
Church was a true Church at all, a true portion of the 

xii CHANGES 225 

one uninterrupted Catholic Church of the Redeemer. 
And the question had forced itself with importunate 
persistence on the leading mind of the movement. 
From this time the fate of Tractarianism, as a party, 
was decided. 

In this overthrow of confidence, two sets of 
influences may be traced. 

i. One, which came from above, from the highest 
leading authority in the movement, was the unsettle- 
ment of Air. Newman's mind. He has told the story, 
the story as he believed of his enfranchisement and 
deliverance; and he has told the story, though the 
story of a deliverance, with so keen a feeling of its 
pathetic and tragic character, — as it is indeed the 
most tragic story of a conversion to peace and hope 
on record, — that it will never cease to be read where 
the English language is spoken. Up to the summer 
of 1839, his view of the English position had satisfied 
him — satisfied him, that is, as a tenable one in the 
anomalies of existing Christendom. All seemed 
clear and hopeful, and the one thing to be thought 
of was to raise the English Church to the height of 
its own standard. But in the autumn of that year 
(1839), as he has told us, a change took place. In 
the summer of 1839, he had set himself to study the 
history of the Monophysite controversy. " I have no 
reason," he writes, "to suppose that the thought of 
Rome came across my mind at all. ... It was 
during this course of reading that for the first time a 
doubt came across me of the tenableness of Anglican- 


ism. I had seen the shadow of a hand on the wall. 
He who has seen a ghost cannot be as if he had 
never seen it. The heavens had opened and closed 
again." To less imaginative and slower minds this 
seems an overwrought description of a phenomenon, 
which must present itself sometime or other to all 
who search the foundations of conviction ; and by 
itself he was for the time proof against its force. 
" The thought for the moment had been, The Church 
of Rome will be found right after all ; and then it had 
vanished. My old convictions remained as before." 
But another blow came, and then another. An 
article by Dr. Wiseman on the Donatists greatly 
disturbed him. The words of St. Augustine about 
the Donatists, securus judicat orbis terrarum, rang 
continually in his ears, like words out of the sky. 
He found the threatenings of the Monophysite 
controversy renewed in the Arian : " the ghost had 
come a second time." It was a " most uncomfort- 
able article," he writes in his letters; "the first real 
hit from Romanism which has happened to me " ; it 
gave him, as he says, " a stomach-ache." But he still 
held his ground, and returned his answer to the 
attack in an article in the British Critic, on the 
" Catholicity of the English Church." He did not 
mean to take the attack for more than it was worth, 
an able bit of ex parte statement. But it told on 
him, as nothing had yet told on him. What it did, 
was to ' open a vista which was closed before, and of 
which he could not see the end"; "we are not at 



the bottom of things," was the sting it left behind. 
From this time, the hope and exultation with which, 
in spite of checks and misgivings, he had watched the 
movement, gave way to uneasiness and distress. A 
new struggle was beginning, a long struggle with 
himself, a long struggle between rival claims which 
would not be denied, each equally imperious, and 
involving fatal consequences if by mistake the wrong 
one was admitted. And it was not only the effect of 
these thoughts on his own mind which filled him with 
grief and trouble. He always thought much for 
others ; and now there was the misery of perhaps 
unsettling others — others who had trusted him with 
their very souls — others, to whom it was impossible 
to explain the conflicts which were passing in his own 
mind. It was so bitter to unsettle their hope and 
confidence. All through this time, more trying than 
his own difficulties, were the perplexities and sorrows 
which he foresaw for those whom he loved. Very 
illogical and inconsecutive, doubtless ; if only he had 
had the hard heart of a proselytiser, he would have 
seen that it was his duty to undermine and shatter 
their old convictions. But he cared more for the 
tempers and beliefs in which he w r as at one with his 
Anglican friends, than for those in which they could 
not follow him. But the struggle came on gradually. 
\Yhat he feared at first was not the triumph of Rome, 
but the break-up of the English Church ; the apparent 
probability of a great schism in it. " I fear I see more 
clearly that we are working up to a schism in the 


English Church, that is, a split between Peculiars 
and Apostolicals. ... I never can be surprised at 
individuals going off to Rome, but that is not my 
chief fear, but a schism ; that is, those two parties, 
which have hitherto got on together as they could, 
from the times of Puritanism downwards, gathering 
up into clear, tangible, and direct forces, and colliding. 
Our Church is not at one with itself, there is no 
denying it." That was at first the disaster before 
him. His thought for himself began to turn, not to 
Rome, but to a new life without office and authority, 
but still within the English Church. " You see, if 
things come to the worst, I should turn brother of 
charity in London." And he began to prepare for a 
move from Oxford, from St. Mary's, from his fellow- 
ship. He bought land at Littlemore, and began to 
plant. He asks his brother-in-law for plans for 
building what he calls a fiovij. He looks forward to 
its becoming a sort of Monastic school, but still 
connected with the University. 

In Mr. Newman's view of the debate between 
England and Rome, he had all along dwelt on two 
broad features, Apostolicity and Catholicity, likeness 
to the Apostolic teaching, and likeness to the 
uninterrupted unity and extent of the undivided 
Church ; and of those two features he found the first 
signally wanting in Rome, and the second signally 
wanting in England. When he began to distrust his 
own reasonings, still the disturbing and repelling 
element in Rome was the alleged defect of Aposto- 



licity, the contrast between primitive and Roman 
religion ; while the attractive one was the apparent 
widely extended Catholicity in all lands, East and 
West, continents and isles, of the world-wide spiritual 
empire of the Pope. It is these two great points 
which may be traced in their action on his mind at 
this crisis. The contrast between early and Roman 
doctrine and practice, in a variety of ways, some of 
them most grave and important, was long a great 
difficulty in the way of attempting to identify the 
Roman Church, absolutely and exclusively, with the 
Primitive Church. The study of antiquity indisposed 
him, indeed, more and more to the existing system of 
the English Church ; its claims to model itself on the 
purity and simplicity of the Early Church seemed to 
him, in the light of its documents, and still more of 
the facts of history and life, more and more question- 
able. But modern Rome was just as distant from 
the Early Church though it preserved many ancient 
features, lost or unvalued by England. Still, Rome 
was not the same thing as the Early Church ; and 
Mr. Newman ultimately sought a way out of his 
difficulty — and indeed there was no other — in the 
famous doctrine of Development. But when the 
difficulty about Apostolicity was thus provided for, 
then the force of the great vision of the Catholic 
Church came upon him, unchecked and irresistible. 
That was a thing present, visible, undeniable as a 
fact of nature ; that was a thing at once old and new ; 
it belonged as truly, as manifestly, to the recent and 


modem world of democracy and science, as it did to 
the Middle Ages and the Fathers, to the world of 
Gregory and Innocent, to the world of Athanasius 
and Augustine. The majesty, the vastness of an 
imperial polity, outlasting all states and kingdoms, all 
social changes and political revolutions, answered at 
once to the promises of the prophecies, and to the 
antecedent idea of the universal kingdom of God. 
Before this great idea, embodied in concrete form, 
and not a paper doctrine, partial scandals and abuses 
seemed to sink into insignificance. Objections 
seemed petty and ignoble ; the pretence of rival 
systems impertinent and absurd. He resented 
almost with impatience anything in the way of theory 
or explanation which seemed to him narrow, technical, 
dialectical. He would look at nothing but what had 
on it the mark of greatness and largeness which 
befitted the awful subject, and was worthy of arresting 
the eye and attention of an ecclesiastical statesman, 
alive to mighty interests, compared to which even the 
most serious human affairs were dwarfed and obscured. 
But all this was gradual in coming. His recogni- 
tion of the claims of the English Church, faulty and 
imperfect as he thought it, did not give way suddenly 
and at once. It survived the rude shock of 1839. 
From first to almost the last she was owned as his 
" mother" — owned in passionate accents of disappoint- 
ment and despair as a Church which knew not how 
to use its gifts ; yet still, even though life seemed 
failing her, and her power of teaching and ruling 



seemed paralysed, his mother ; and as long as there 
seemed to him a prospect of restoration to health, it 
was his duty to stay by her. 1 This was his first atti- 
tude for three or four years after 1839. He could 
not speak of her with the enthusiasm and triumph of 
the first years of the movement. When he fought 
her battles, it was with the sense that her imper- 
fections made his task the harder. Still he clung to 
the belief that she held a higher standard than she 
had yet acted up to, and discouraged and perplexed 
he yet maintained her cause. But now two things 
happened. The Roman claims, as was natural when 
always before him, seemed to him more and more 
indisputable. And in England his interpretation of 
Anglican theology seemed to be more and more con- 
tradicted, disavowed, condemned, by all that spoke 
with any authority in the Church. The University 
was not an ecclesiastical body, yet it had practically 
much weight in matters of theology ; it informally, 
but effectually, declared against him. The Bishops, 
one by one, of course only spoke as individuals ; but 
they were the official spokesmen of the Church, and 
their consent, though not the act of a Synod, was 
weighty— they too had declared against him. And 
finally that vague but powerful voice of public opinion, 
which claims to represent at once the cool judgment 
of the unbiassed, and the passion of the zealous — it 
too declared against him. Could he claim to understand 
the mind of the Church better than its own organs ? 
1 See Sermons on Subjects of the Day, 1843. 


Then at length a change came ; and it was marked 
outwardly by a curious retractation of his severe lan- 
guage about Rome, published in a paper called the 
Conservative Journal, in January 1843 ; and more 
distinctly, by his resignation of St. Mary's in Sep- 
tember 1843, a step contemplated for some time, and 
by his announcement that he was preparing to resign 
his fellowship. From this time he felt that he could 
no longer hold office, or be a champion of the 
English Church ; from this time, it was only a matter 
of waiting, waiting to make quite certain that he was 
right and was under no delusion, when he should 
leave her for the Roman Communion. And to his 
intimate friends, to his sisters, he gave notice that this 
was now impending. To the world outside, all that 
was known was that he was much unsettled and dis- 
tressed by difficulties. 

It may be asked why this change was not at this 
time communicated, not to a few intimates, but to the 
world ? Why did he not at this time hoist his quar- 
antine flag and warn every one that he was dangerous 
to come near ? So keen a mind must, it was said, 
have by this time foreseen how things would end : he 
ought to have given earlier notice. His answer was 
that he was sincerely desirous of avoiding, as far as 
possible, what might prejudice the Church in which 
he had ministered, even at the moment of leaving her. 
He saw his own way becoming clearer and clearer ; 
but he saw it for himself alone. He was not one of 
those who forced the convictions of others ; he was 



not one of those who think it a great thing to be 
followed in a serious change by a crowd of dis- 
ciples. Whatever might be at the end, it was now an 
agonising wrench to part from the English body, to 
part from the numbers of friends whose loyalty was 
immovable, to part from numbers who had trusted 
and learned from him. Of course, if he was in the 
right way, he could wish them nothing better than 
that they should follow him. But they were in God's 
hands ; it was not his business to unsettle them ; it 
was not his business to ensnare and coerce their faith. 
And so he tried for this time to steer his course alone. 
He wished to avoid observation. He was silent on 
all that went on round him, exciting as some of the 
incidents were. He would not be hurried ; he would 
give himself full time ; he would do what he could 
to make sure that he was not acting under the influ- 
ence of a delusion. 

The final result of all this was long in coming ; 
there was, we know, a bitter agony of five years, a 
prolonged and obstinate and cruel struggle between 
the deepest affections and ever-growing convictions. 
But this struggle, as has been said, did not begin 
with the conviction in which it ended. It began and 
long continued with the belief that though England 
was wrong, Rome was not right ; that though the 
Roman argument seemed more and more unanswer- 
able, there were insuperable difficulties of certain fact 
which made the Roman conclusion incredible ; that 
there was so much good and truth in England, with 


all its defects and faults, which was unaccountable 
and unintelligible on the Roman hypothesis ; that the 
real upshot was that the whole state of things in 
Christendom was abnormal • that to English Church- 
men the English Church had immediate and direct 
claims which nothing but the most irresistible counter- 
claims could overcome or neutralise — the claims of a 
shipwrecked body cut off from country and home, yet 
as a shipwrecked body still organised, and with much 
saved from the wreck, and not to be deserted, as long 
as it held together, in an uncertain attempt to rejoin 
its lost unity. Resignation, retirement, silence, lay 
communion, the hope of ultimate, though perhaps 
long-deferred reunion — these were his first thoughts. 
Misgivings could not be helped, would not be denied, 
but need not be paraded, were to be kept at arm's- 
length as long as possible. This is the picture pre- 
sented in the autobiography of these painful and 
dreary years ; and there is every evidence that it is 
a faithful one. It is conceivable, though not very 
probable, that such a course might go on indefinitely. 
It is conceivable that under different circumstances 
he might, like other perplexed and doubting seekers 
after truth, have worked round through doubt and 
perplexity to his first conviction. But the actual 
result, as it came, was natural enough ; and it was 
accelerated by provocation, by opponents without, and 
by the pressure of advanced and impatient followers 
and disciples in the party itself. 

2. This last was the second of the two influences 


CHANGES 23.") 

spoken of above. It worked from below, as the first 
worked from above. 

Discussions and agitations, such as accompanied 
the movement, however much under the control of 
the moral and intellectual ascendancy of the leaders, 
could not of course be guaranteed from escaping from 
that control. And as the time went on, men joined 
the movement who had but qualified sympathy with 
that passionate love and zeal for the actual English 
Church, that acquaintance with its historical theology, 
and that temper of discipline, sobriety, and self-dis- 
trust, which marked its first representatives. These 
younger disciples shared in the growing excitement of 
the society round them. They were attracted by 
visible height of character, and brilliant intellectual 
power. They were alive to vast and original pros- 
pects, opening a new world which should be a 
contrast to the worn-out interest of the old. Some 
of these were men of wide and abstruse learning j 
quaint and eccentric scholars both in habit and look, 
students of the ancient type, who even fifty years 
ago seemed out of date to their generation. Some 
were men of considerable force of mind, destined 
afterwards to leave a mark on their age as thinkers 
and writers. To the former class belonged Charles 
Seager, and John Brande Morris, of Exeter College, 
both learned Orientalists, steeped in recondite know- 
ledge of all kinds ; men who had worked their way to 
knowledge through hardship and grinding labour, and 
not to be outdone in Germany itself for devouring 


love of learning and a scholar's plainness of life. In 
the other class may be mentioned Frederic Faber, 
J. D. Dalgairns, and W. G. Ward, men who have all 
since risen to eminence in their different spheres. 
Faber was a man with a high gift of imagination, 
remarkable powers of assimilating knowledge, and a 
great richness and novelty and elegance of thought, 
which with much melody of voice made him ulti- 
mately a very attractive preacher. If the promise of 
his powers has not been adequately fulfilled, it is 
partly to be traced to a want of severity of taste and 
self-restraint, but his name will live in some of his 
hymns, and in some very beautiful portions of his 
devotional writings. Dalgairns's mind was of a 
different order. " That man has an eye for theology," 
was the remark of a competent judge on some early 
paper of Dalgairns's which came before him. He 
had something of the Frenchman about him. There 
was in him, in his Oxford days, a bright and frank 
briskness, a mixture of modesty and arch daring, 
which gave him an almost boyish appearance ; but 
beneath this boyish appearance there was a subtle 
and powerful intellect, alive to the problems of 
religious philosophy, and impatient of any but the 
most thorough solutions of them ; while, on the other 
hand, the religious affections were part of his nature, 
and mind and will and heart yielded an unreserved 
and absolute obedience to the leading and guidance 
of faith. In his later days, with his mind at ease, 
Father Dalgairns threw himself into the great battle 

xii CHANGES 237 

with unbelief; and few men have commanded more 
the respect of opponents not much given to think well 
of the arguments for religion, by the freshness and the 
solidity of his reasoning. At this time, enthusiastic 
in temper, and acute and exacting as a thinker, he 
found the Church movement just, as it were, on the 
turn of the wave. He was attracted to it at first by 
its reaction against what was unreal and shallow, by 
its affinities with what was deep in idea and earnest 
in life ; then, and finally, he was repelled from it, by 
its want of completeness, by its English acquiescence 
in compromise, by its hesitations and clinging to 
insular associations and sympathies, which had little 
interest for him. 

Another person, who was at this time even more 
prominent in the advanced portion of the movement 
party, and whose action had more decisive influence 
on its course, was Mr. W. G. Ward, Fellow of Balliol. 
Mr. Ward, who was first at Christ Church, had dis- 
tinguished himself greatly at the Oxford Union as a 
vigorous speaker, at first on the Tory side ; he came 
afterwards under the influence of Arthur Stanley, then 
fresh from Rugby, and naturally learned to admire Dr. 
Arnold ; but Dr. Arnold's religious doctrines did not 
satisfy him ; the movement, with its boldness and 
originality of idea and ethical character, had laid 
strong hold on him, and he passed into one of the 
most thoroughgoing adherents of Mr. Newman. 
There was something to smile at in his person, and 
in some of his ways — his unbusinesslike habits, his 


joyousness of manner, his racy stories ; but few more 
powerful intellects passed through Oxford in his time, 
and he has justified his University reputation by his 
distinction since, both as a Roman Catholic theologian 
and professor, and as a profound metaphysical thinker, 
the equal antagonist on their own ground of J. Stuart 
Mill and Herbert Spencer. But his intellect at that 
time was as remarkable for its defects as for its 
powers. He used to divide his friends, and thinking 
people in general, into those who had facts and did 
not know what to do with them, and those who had 
in perfection the logical faculties, but wanted the facts 
to reason upon. He belonged himself to the latter 
class. He had, not unnaturally, boundless confidence 
in his argumentative powers ; they were subtle, pierc- 
ing, nimble, never at a loss, and they included a 
power of exposition which, if it was not always succinct 
and lively, was always weighty and impressive. Pre- 
mises in his hands were not long in bringing forth 
their conclusions ; and if abstractions always corre- 
sponded exactly to their concrete embodiments, and 
ideals were fulfilled in realities, no one could point 
out more perspicuously and decisively the practical 
judgments on them which reason must sanction. But 
that knowledge of things and of men which mere 
power of reasoning will not give was not one of his 
special endowments. The study of facts, often in 
their complicated and perplexing reality, was not to 
his taste. He was apt to accept them on what he 
considered adequate authority, and his argumentation, 



formidable as it always was, recalled, even when most 
unanswerable at the moment, the application of pure 
mathematics without allowance for the actual forces, 
often difficult to ascertain except by experiment, which 
would have to be taken account of in practice. 

The tendency of this section of able men was 
unquestionably Romewards, almost from the begin- 
ning of their connexion with the movement. Both 
the theory and the actual system of Rome, so far as 
they understood it, had attractions for them which 
nothing else had. But with whatever perplexity and 
perhaps impatience, Mr. Newman's power held them 
back. He kept before their minds continually those 
difficulties of fact which stood in the way of their 
absolute and peremptory conclusions, and of which 
they were not much inclined to take account. He 
insisted on those features, neither few nor unimportant 
nor hard to see, which proved the continuity of the 
English Church with the Church Universal. Sharing 
their sense of anomaly in the Anglican theory and 
position, he pointed out with his own force and insight 
that anomaly was not in England only, but everywhere. 
There was much to regret, there was much to improve, 
there were many unwelcome and dangerous truths, 
invidiosi :rri, to be told and defended at any cost. 
But patience, as well as honesty and courage, was a 
Christian virtue; and they who had received their 
Christianity at the hands of the English Church had 
duties towards it from which neither dissatisfaction 
nor the idea of something better could absolve them. 


Spartam nactus es, hanc exorna is the motto for every 
one whose lot is cast in any portion of Christ's Church. 
And as long as he could speak with this conviction, 
the strongest of them could not break away from his 
restraint. It was when the tremendous question took 
shape, Is the English Church a true Church, a real 
part of the Church Catholic? — when the question 
became to his mind more and more doubtful, at 
length desperate — that they, of course, became more 
difficult to satisfy, more confident in their own allega- 
tions, more unchecked in their sympathies, and, in 
consequence, in their dislikes. And in the continued 
effort — for it did continue — to make them pause and 
wait and hope, they reacted on him ; they asked him 
questions which he found it hard to answer; they 
pressed him with inferences which he might put by, 
but of which he felt the sting ; they forced on him all 
the indications, of which every day brought its contri- 
bution, that the actual living system of the English 
Church was against what he had taught to be Catholic, 
that its energetic temper and spirit condemned and 
rejected him. What was it that private men were 
staunch and undismayed? What w r as it that month 
by month all over England hearts and minds were 
attracted to his side, felt the spell of his teaching, 
gave him their confidence ? Suspicion and disappro- 
bation, which had only too much to ground itself 
upon, had taken possession of the high places of the 
Church. Authority in all its shapes had pronounced 
as decisively as his opponents could wish ; as decisively 

xii CHANGES 241 

as they too could wish, who desired no longer a barrier 
between themselves and Rome. 

Thus a great and momentous change had come 
over the movement, over its action and prospects. It 
had started in a heroic effort to save the English 
Church. The claims, the blessings, the divinity of 
the English Church, as a true branch of Catholic 
Christendom, had been assumed as the foundation of 
all that was felt and said and attempted. The English 
Church was the one object to which English Chris- 
tians were called upon to turn their thoughts. Its 
spirit animated the Christian Year, and the teaching 
of those whom the Christian Year represented. Its 
interests were what called forth the zeal and the indig- 
nation recorded in Froude's Remains. No one seri- 
ously thought of Rome, except as a hopelessly corrupt 
system, though it had some good and Catholic things, 
which it was Christian and honest to recognise. The 
movement of 1833 started out of the Anti- Roman 
feelings of the Emancipation time. It was Anti- 
Roman as much as it was Anti-Sectarian and Anti- 
Erastian. It was to avert the danger of people 
becoming Romanists from ignorance of Church 
principles. This was all changed in one important 
section of the party. The fundamental conceptions 
and assumptions were reversed. It was not the 
Roman Church, but the English Church, which was 
put on its trial ; it was not the Roman Church, but 
the English, which was to be, if possible, apologised 
for, perhaps borne with for a time, but which was to 


242 THE OXFORD MOVEMENT chap, xii 

be regarded as deeply fallen, holding an untenable 
position, and incomparably, unpardonably, below both 
the standard and the practical system of the Roman 
Church. From this point of view the object of the 
movement was no longer to elevate and improve an 
independent English Church, but to approximate it as 
far as possible to what was assumed to be undeniable 
— the perfect Catholicity of Rome. More almost 
than ideas and assumptions, the tone of feeling 
changed. It had been, towards the English Church, 
affectionate, enthusiastic, reverential, hopeful. It be- 
came contemptuous, critical, intolerant, hostile with 
the hostility not merely of alienation but disgust. 
This was not of course the work of a moment, but it 
was of very rapid growth. " How I hate these Angli- 
cans ! " was the expression of one of the younger men 
of this section, an intemperate and insolent specimen 
of it. It did not represent the tone or the language 
of the leader to whom the advanced section deferred, 
vexed as he often was with the course of his own 
thoughts, and irritated and impatient at the course of 
things without. But it expressed but too truly the 
difference between 1833 and 1840. 



While the movement was making itself felt as a moral 
force, without a parallel in Oxford for more than two 
centuries, and was impressing deeply and permanently 
some of the most promising men in the rising genera- 
tion in the University, what was the attitude of the 
University authorities ? What was the attitude of the 
Bishops ? 

At Oxford it was that of contemptuous indifference, 
passing into helpless and passionate hostility. There 
is no sadder passage to be found in the history of 
Oxford than the behaviour and policy of the heads of 
this great Christian University towards the religious 
movement which was stirring the interest, the hopes, 
the fears of Oxford. The movement was, for its first 
years at least, a loyal and earnest effort to serve the 
cause of the Church. Its objects were clear and 
reasonable j it aimed at creating a sincere and intelli- 
gent zeal for the Church, and at making the Church 
itself worthy of the great position which her friends 


claimed for her. Its leaders were men well known in 
the University, in the first rank in point of ability and 
character ; men of learning, who knew what they were 
talking about ; men of religious and pure, if also severe 
lives. They were not men merely of speculation and 
criticism, but men ready to forego anything, to devote 
everything for the practical work of elevating religious 
thought and life. All this did not necessarily make 
their purposes and attempts wise and good ; but it did 
entitle them to respectful attention. If they spoke 
language new to the popular mind or the " religious 
world," it was not new — at least it ought not to have 
been new — to orthodox Churchmen, with opportunities 
of study and acquainted with our best divinity. If 
their temper was eager and enthusiastic, they alleged 
the presence of a great and perilous crisis. Their 
appeal was mainly not to the general public, but to 
the sober and the learned; to those to whom was 
entrusted the formation of faith and character in the 
future clergy of the Church ; to those who were respon- 
sible for the discipline and moral tone of the first 
University of Christendom, and who held their con- 
spicuous position on the understanding of that respon- 
sibility. It behoved the heads of the University to be 
cautious, even to be suspicious ; movements might be 
hollow or dangerous things. But it behoved them also 
to become acquainted with so striking a phenomenon 
as this ; to judge it by what it appealed to — the learn- 
ing of English divines, the standard of a high and 
generous moral rule; to recognise its aims at least, 


with equity and sympathy, if some of its methods and 
arguments seemed questionable. The men of the 
movement were not mere hostile innovators ; they 
were fighting for what the University and its chiefs 
held dear and sacred, the privileges and safety of the 
Church. It was the natural part of the heads of the 
University to act as moderators ; at any rate, to have 
shown, with whatever reserve, that they appreciated 
what they needed time to judge of. But while on the 
one side there was burning and devouring earnestness, 
and that power of conviction which doubles the strength 
of the strong, there was on the other a serene ignoring 
of all that was going on, worthy of a set of dignified 
French abbes on the eve of the Revolution. This sub- 
lime or imbecile security was occasionally interrupted 
by bursts of irritation at some fresh piece of Tractarian 
oddness or audacity, or at some strange story which 
made its way from the gossip of common-rooms to the 
society of the Heads of Houses. And there was 
always ready a stick to beat the offenders ; everything 
could be called Popish. But for the most part they 
looked on, with smiles, with jokes, sometimes with 
scolding. 1 Thus the men who by their place ought to 
have been able to gauge and control the movement, 
who might have been expected to meet half-way a 

1 Fifty years ago there was much greater contrast than now 
between old and young. There was more outward respect for the 
authorities, and among the younger men, graduates and under- 
graduates, more inward amusement at foibles and eccentricities. 
There still lingered the survivals of a more old-fashioned type of 
University life and character, which, quite apart from the move- 
ments of religious opinion, provoked those veaviev/xara t'StwrcDv eis 


serious attempt to brace up the religious and moral 
tone of the place, so incalculably important in days 
confessed to be anxious ones, simply set their faces 
steadily to discountenance and discredit it. They 
were good and respectable men, living comfortably 
in a certain state and ease. Their lives were mostly 
simple compared with the standard of the outer 
world, though Fellows of Colleges thought them 
luxurious. But they were blind and dull as tea-table 
gossips as to what was the meaning of the movement, 
as to what might come of it, as to what use might be 
made of it by wise and just and generous recognition, 
and, if need be, by wise and just criticism and 
repression. There were points of danger in it; but 
they could only see what seemed to be dangerous, 

tovs dpxovTas, 1 impertinences of irresponsible juniors towards 
superiors, which Wordsworth, speaking of a yet earlier time, 
remembered at Cambridge — 

' ' In serious mood, but oftener, I confess, 
With playful zest of fancy, did we note 
(How could we less?) the manners and the ways 
Of those who lived distinguished by the badge 
Of good or ill report ; or those with whom 
By frame of Academic discipline 
We were perforce connected, men whose sway 
And known authority of office served 
To set our minds on edge, and did no more. 
Nor wanted we rich pastime of this kind, 
Found everywhere, but chiefly in the ring 
Of the grave Elders, men unscoured, grotesque 
In character, tricked out like aged trees 
Which through the lapse of their infirmity 
Give ready place to any random seed 
That chooses to be reared upon their trunks." 

Prelude, bk. iii. 

1 Plat. R. P. iii. 390. 


whether it was so or not ; and they multiplied these 
points of danger by all that was good and hopeful in 
it. It perplexed and annoyed them ; they had not 
imagination nor moral elevation to take in what it 
aimed at ; they were content with the routine which 
they had inherited; and, so that men read for 
honours and took first classes, it did not seem to 
them strange or a profanation that a whole mixed 
crowd of undergraduates should be expected to go 
on a certain Sunday in term, willing or unwilling, fit 
or unfit, to the Sacrament, and be fined if they did 
not appear. Doubtless we are all of us too prone to 
be content with the customary, and to be prejudiced 
against the novel, nor is this condition of things 
without advantage. But we must bear our condemna- 
tion if we stick to the customary too long, and so 
miss our signal opportunities. In their apathy, in 
their self-satisfied ignorance, in their dulness of 
apprehension and forethought, the authorities of the 
University let pass the great opportunity of their time. 
As it usually happens, when this posture of lofty 
ignoring what is palpable and active, and the object 
of everybody's thought, goes on too long, it is apt to 
turn into impatient dislike and bitter antipathy. The 
Heads of Houses drifted insensibly into this position. 
They had not taken the trouble to understand the 
movement, to discriminate between its aspects, to 
put themselves frankly into communication with its 
leading persons, to judge with the knowledge and 
justice of scholars and clergymen of its designs and 


ways. They let themselves be diverted from this, their 
proper though troublesome task, by distrust, by the 
jealousies of their position, by the impossibility of 
conceiving that anything so strange could really be 
true and sound. And at length they found them- 
selves going along with the outside current of 
uninstructed and ignoble prejudice, in a settled and 
pronounced dislike, which took for granted that all 
was wrong in the movement, which admitted any ill- 
natured surmise and foolish misrepresentation, and 
really allowed itself to acquiesce in the belief that 
men so well known in Oxford, once so admired and 
honoured, had sunk down to deliberate corrupters of 
the truth, and palterers with their own intellects and 
consciences. It came in a few years to be understood 
on both sides, that the authorities were in direct 
antagonism to the movement; and though their 
efforts in opposition to it were feeble and petty, it 
went on under the dead weight of official University 
disapproval. It would have been a great thing for the 
English Church — though it is hard to see how, things 
being as they were, it could have come about — if the 
movement had gone on, at least with the friendly 
interest, if not with the support, of the University 
rulers. Instead of that, after the first two or three 
years there was one long and bitter fight in Oxford, 
with the anger on one side created by the belief of 
vague but growing dangers, and a sense of incapacity 
in resisting them, and with deep resentment at 
injustice and stupidity on the other. 


The Bishops were farther from the immediate 
-A the movement, and besides, had other things 
to think of. Three or four of them might be con- 
sidered theologians — Archbishop Howley, Phillpotts 
of Ex - of Lincoln, Marsh of Peterborough. 

Two or three belonged to the Evangelical school, 
Ryder of Lichfield, and the two Sumners at Win- 
chester and Chester. The most prominent among 
them, and next I the Bishop of Exeter the ablest, 
alive to the real dangers of the Church, anxious to 
infuse vigour into its work, and' busy with plans for 
extending its influence, was Blomfield, Bishop of 
London. But Blomfield was not at his best as a 
divine, and, for a man of his unquestionable power, 
singularly unsure of his own mind. He knc 
fact, that when the questions raised by the Tracts 
came before him he was unqualified to deal with 
he was no better furnished by thought or 
knowledge or habits to judge of them than the 
ge Bishop of the time, appointed, as was so 
often the case, for political or personal reason-, 
the first start of the movement, the Bishops not 
unnaturally waited to see what would come of it. It 
was indeed an effort in favour of the Church, but it 
was in irresponsible hands, begun by men whose 
words "->ng and vehement and of unusual 

sound, and who, while they called on the clerg 
rally round their fathers the Bishops, did not shrink 
from a for the Bishops the fortunes of the 

early days : ; * we could not wish them a more t 


termination of their course than the spoiling of their 
goods and martyrdom/' 1 It may reasonably be 
supposed that such good wishes were not to the 
taste of all of them. As the movement developed, 
besides that it would seem to them extravagant and 
violent, they would be perplexed by its doctrine. It 
took strong ground for the Church ; but it did so in 
the teeth of religious opinions and prejudices, which 
were popular and intolerant. For a moment the 
Bishops were in a difficulty ; on the one hand, no 
one for generations had so exalted the office of a 
Bishop as the Tractarians ; no one had claimed for 
it so high and sacred an origin ; no one had urged 
with such practical earnestness the duty of Church- 
men to recognise and maintain the unique authority 
of the Episcopate against its despisers or oppressors. 
On the other hand, this was just the time when the 
Evangelical party, after long disfavour, was beginning 
to gain recognition, for the sake of its past earnest- 
ness and good works, with men in power, and with 
ecclesiastical authorities of a different and hitherto 
hostile school ; and in the Tractarian movement the 
Evangelical party saw from the first its natural enemy. 
The Bishops could not have anything to do with the 
Tractarians without deeply offending the Evangelicals. 
The result was that, for the present, the Bishops held 
aloof. They let the movement run on by itself. 
Sharp sarcasms, worldly-wise predictions, kind 
messages of approval, kind cautions, passed from 

1 Tracts for the Times, No. i, 9th September 1833. 


mouth to mouth, or in private correspondence from 
high quarters, which showed that the movement was 
watched. But for some time the authorities spoke 
neither good nor bad of it publicly. In his Charge 
at the close of 1836, Bishop Phillpotts spoke in clear 
and unfaltering language — language remarkable for its 
bold decision — of the necessity of setting forth the 
true idea of the Church and the sacraments ; but he 
was silent about the call of the same kind which had 
come from Oxford. It would have been well if the 
other Bishops later on, in their charges, had followed 
his example. The Bishop of Oxford, in his Charge 
of 1838, referred to the movement in balanced terms 
of praise and warning. The first who condemned 
the movement was the Bishop of Chester, J. Bird 
Sumner ; in a later Charge he came to describe it as 
the work of Satan; in 1838 he only denounced the 
"undermining of the foundations of our Protestant 
Church by men who dwell within her walls," and the 
bad faith of those "who sit in the Reformers' seat, 
and traduce the Reformation." 

These were grave mistakes on the part of those 
who were responsible for the government of the 
University and the Church. They treated as absurd, 
mischievous, and at length traitorous, an effort, than 
which nothing could be more sincere, to serve the 
Church, to place its claims on adequate grounds, to 
elevate the standard of duty in its clergy, and in all 
its members. To have missed the aim of the move- 
ment and to have been occupied and irritated by 


obnoxious details and vulgar suspicions was a blunder 
which gave the measure of those who made it, and 
led to great evils. They alienated those who wished 
for nothing better than to help them in their true 
work. Their "unkindness" was felt to be, in 
Bacon's phrase, 1 injuries potentiorum. But on the 
side of the party of the movement there were mistakes 

i. The rapidity with which the movement had 
grown, showing that some deep need had long been 
obscurely felt, which the movement promised to 
meet, 2 had been too great to be altogether wholesome. 
When we compare what was commonly received 
before 1833, in teaching, in habits of life, in the 
ordinary assumptions of history, in the ideas and 
modes of worship, public and private — the almost 
sacramental conception of preaching, the neglect of 
the common prayer of the Prayer Book, the slight 
regard to the sacraments — with what the teaching of 
the Tracts and their writers had impressed for good 
and all, five years later, on numbers of earnest people, 
the change seems astonishing. The change was a 
beneficial one and it was a permanent one. The 
minds which it affected, it affected profoundly. Still 
it was but a short time, for young minds especially, 
to have come to a decision on great and debated 

1 An Advertisement touching the Controversies of the Church of 
England: printed in the Kesuscitatio, p. 138 (ed. 1671). 

2 See Mr. Newman's article, "The State of Religious Parties," 
in the British Critic, April 1839, reprinted in his Essays Historical 
and Critical, 1871, Vol. I., essay vi. 


questions. There was the possibility, the danger, of 
men having been captivated and carried away by the 
excitement and interest of the time; of not having 
looked all round and thought out the difficulties 
before them ; of having embraced opinions without 
sufficiently knowing their grounds or counting the 
cost or considering the consequences. There was 
the danger of precipitate judgment, of ill-balanced 
and disproportionate views of what was true and all- 
important. There was an inevitable feverishness in 
the way in which the movement was begun, in the 
way in which it went on. Those affected by it were 
themselves surprised at the swiftness of the pace. 
When a cause so great and so sacred seemed thus to 
be flourishing, and carrying along with it men's assent 
and sympathies, it was hardly wonderful that there 
should often be exaggeration, impatience at resistance, 
scant consideration for the slowness or the scruples 
or the alarms of others. Eager and sanguine men 
talked as if their work was accomplished, when in 
truth it was but beginning. No one gave more 
serious warnings against this and other dangers than 
the leaders ; and their warnings were needed. 1 

1 " It would not be at all surprising, though, in spite of the 
earnestness of the principal advocates of the views in question, for 
which every one seems to give them credit, there should be among 
their followers much that is enthusiastic, extravagant, or excessive. 
All these aberrations will be and are imputed to the doctrines 
from which they proceed ; nor unnaturally, but hardly fairly, for 
aberrations there must be, whatever the doctrine is, while the 
human heart is sensitive, capricious, and wayward. . . . There 
will ever be a number of persons professing the opinions of a 
movement party, who talk loudly and strangely, do odd and fierce 


2. Another mistake, akin to the last, was the 
frequent forgetfulness of the apostolic maxim, " All 
things are lawful for me, but all things are not 
expedient." In what almost amounted to a revolution 
in many of the religious ideas of the time, it was 
especially important to keep distinct the great central 
truths, the restoration of which to their proper place 
justified and made it necessary, and the many 
subordinate points allied with them and naturally 
following from them, which yet were not necessary to 
their establishment or acceptance. But it was on 
these subordinate points that the interest of a certain 
number of followers of the movement was fastened. 
Conclusions which they had a perfect right to come 
to, practices innocent and edifying to themselves, but 
of secondary account, began to be thrust forward 
into prominence, whether or not these instances of 
self-will really helped the common cause, whether 
or not they gave a handle to ill-nature and ill-will. 
Suspicion must always have attached to such a 
movement as this ; but a great deal of it was provoked 
by indiscreet defiance, which was rather glad to 
provoke it. 

3. Apart from these incidents — common wherever 

things, display themselves unnecessarily, and disgust other people ; 
there will ever be those who are too young to be wise, too generous 
to be cautious, too warm to be sober, or too intellectual to be 
humble ; of whom human sagacity cannot determine, only the 
event, and perhaps not even that, whether they feel what they say, 
or how far ; whether they are to be encouraged or discount- 
enanced." — British Critic, April 1839, "State of Religious 
Parties," p. 405. 


a number of men are animated with zeal for an in- 
spiring cause — there were what to us now seem 
mistakes made in the conduct itself of the movement. 
Considering the difficulties of the work, it is wonder- 
ful that there were not more ; and none of them were 
discreditable, none but what arose from the limita- 
tion of human powers matched against confused and 
baffling circumstances. 

In the position claimed for the Church of England, 
confessedly unique and anomalous in the history of 
Christendom, between Roman authority and infalli- 
bility on one side, and Protestant freedom of private 
judgment on the other, the question would at once 
arise as to the grounds of belief. What, if any, are 
the foundations of conviction and certitude, apart 
from personal inquiry, and examination of opposing 
arguments on different sides of the case, and satis- 
factory logical conclusions? The old antithesis 
between Faith and Reason, and the various problems 
connected with it, could not but come to the front, 
and require to be dealt with. It is a question which 
faces us from a hundred sides, and, subtly and in- 
sensibly transforming itself, looks different from them 
all. It was among the earliest attempted to be solved 
by the chief intellectual leader of the movement, and 
it has occupied his mind to the last. 1 However near 
the human mind seems to come to a solution, it only, 
if so be, comes near ; it never arrives. In the early 
days of the movement it found prevailing the specious 

1 Cardinal Newman, Grammar of Assent. 


but shallow view that everything in the search for 
truth was to be done by mere producible and explicit 
argumentation ; and yet it was obvious that of this 
two-thirds of the world are absolutely incapable. 
Against this Mr. Newman and his followers pressed, 
what was as manifestly certain in fact as it accorded 
with any deep and comprehensive philosophy of the 
formation and growth of human belief, that not argu- 
ments only, but the whole condition of the mind to 
which they were addressed — and not the reasonings 
only which could be stated, but those which went on 
darkly in the mind, and which " there was not at the 
moment strength to bring forth," real and weighty 
reasons which acted like the obscure rays of the 
spectrum, with their proper force, yet eluding distinct 
observation — had their necessary and inevitable and 
legitimate place in determining belief. All this was 
perfectly true ; but it is obvious how easily it might 
be taken hold of, on very opposite sides, as a ground 
for saying that Tractarian or Church views did not 
care about argument, or, indeed, rather preferred weak 
arguments to strong ones in the practical work of life. 
It was ludicrous to say it in a field of controversy, 
which, on the "Tractarian" side, was absolutely 
bristling with argument, keen, subtle, deep, living 
argument, and in which the victory in argument was 
certainly not always with those who ventured to 
measure swords with Mr. Newman or Dr. Pusey. 
Still, the scoff could be plausibly pointed at the 
"young enthusiasts who crowded the Via Media, 


and who never presumed to argue, except against 
the propriety of arguing at all." There was a good 
deal of foolish sneering at reason ; there was a good 
deal of silly bravado about not caring whether the 
avowed grounds of opinions taken up were strong or 
feeble. It was not merely the assent of a learner to 
his teacher, of a mind without means of instruction to 
the belief which it has inherited, or of one new to the 
ways and conditions of life to the unproved assertions 
and opinions of one to whom experience had given 
an open and sure eye. It was a positive carelessness, 
almost accounted meritorious, to inquire and think, 
when their leaders called them to do so. " The 
Gospel of Christ is not a matter of mere argument." 
It is not, indeed, when it comes in its full reality, in 
half a hundred different ways, known and unsearch- 
able, felt and unfelt, moral and intellectual, on the 
awakened and quickened soul. But the wildest 
fanatic can take the same words into his mouth. 
Their true meaning was variously and abundantly 
illustrated, especially in Mr. Newman's sermons. 
Still, the adequate, the emphatic warning against 
their early abuse was hardly pressed on the public 
opinion and sentiment of the party of the movement 
with the force which really was requisite. To the end 
there were men who took up their belief avowedly 
on insufficient and precarious grounds, glorying in the 
venturesomeness of their faith and courage, and justi- 
fying their temper of mind and their intellectual 
attitude by alleging misinterpreted language of their 


wiser and deeper teachers. A recoil from Whately's 
hard and barren dialectics, a sympathy with many 
tender and refined natures which the movement had 
touched, made the leaders patient with intellectual 
feebleness when it was joined with real goodness and 
Christian temper ; but this also sometimes made them 
less impatient than they might well have been with 
that curious form of conceit and affectation which 
veils itself under an intended and supposed humility, 
a supposed distrust of self and its own powers. 

Another difficult matter, not altogether successfully 
managed — at least from the original point of view of 
the movement, and of those who saw in it a great 
effort for the good of the English Church — was the 
treatment of the Roman controversy. The general 
line which the leaders proposed to take was the one 
which was worthy of Christian and truth -loving 
teachers. They took a new departure ; and it was 
not less just than it was brave, when, recognising to 
the full the overwhelming reasons why "we should 
not be Romanists," they refused to take up the 
popular and easy method of regarding the Roman 
Church as apostate and antichristian ; and declined 
to commit themselves to the vulgar and indiscriminate 
abuse of it which was the discreditable legacy of 
the old days of controversy. They did what all the 
world was loudly professing to do, they looked facts 
in the face ; they found, as any one would find who 
looked for himself into the realities of the Roman 
Church, that though the bad was often as bad as 


could be, there was still, and there had been all 
along, goodness of the highest type, excellence both of 
system and of personal life which it was monstrous to 
deny, and which we might well admire and envy. To 
ignore all this was to fail in the first duty, not merely 
of Christians, but of honest men ; and we at home 
were not so blameless that we could safely take this 
lofty tone of contemptuous superiority. If Rome 
would only leave us alone, there would be estrange- 
ment, lamentable enough among Christians, but there 
need be no bitterness. But Rome would not leave 
us alone. The moment that there were signs of 
awakening energy in England, that moment was chosen 
by its agents, for now it could be done safely, to assail 
and thwart the English Church. Doubtless they were 
within their rights, but this made controversy inevit- 
able, and for controversy the leaders of the movement 
prepared themselves. It was an obstacle which they 
seemed hardly to have expected, but which the nature 
of things placed in their way. But the old style of 
controversy was impossible ; impossible because it 
was so coarse, impossible because it was so hollow. 

If the argument (says the writer of Tract 71, in 
words which are applicable to every controversy) is 
radically unreal, or (what may be called) rhetorical or 
sophistical, it may serve the purpose of encouraging 
those who are really convinced, though scarcely without 
doing mischief to them, but certainly it will offend and 
alienate the more acute and sensible ; while those who 
are in doubt, and who desire some real and substantial 


ground for their faith, will not bear to be put off with 
such shadows. The arguments (he continues) which we 
use must be such as are likely to convince serious and 
earnest minds, which are really seeking for the truth, 
not amusing themselves with intellectual combats, or 
desiring to support an existing opinion anyhow. How- 
ever popular these latter methods may be, of however 
long standing, however easy both to find and to use, 
they are a scandal ; and while they lower our religious 
standard from the first, they are sure of hurting our cause 
in the end. 

And on this principle the line of argument in The 
Prophetical Office of the Church was taken by Mr. 
Newman. It was certainly no make-believe, or un- 
real argument. It was a forcible and original way of 
putting part of the case against Rome. It was part of 
the case, a very important part ; but it was not the 
whole case, and it ought to have been evident from 
the first that in this controversy we could not afford 
to do without the whole case. The argument from 
the claim of infallibility said nothing of what are 
equally real parts of the case — the practical working 
of the Roman Church, its system of government, 
the part which it and its rulers have played in the 
history of the world. Rome has not such a clean 
record of history, it has not such a clean account 
of what is done and permitted in its dominions 
under an authority supposed to be irresistible, that it 
can claim to be the one pure and perfect Church, 
entitled to judge and correct and govern all other 


Churches. And if the claim is made, there is no 
help for it, we must not shrink from the task of giving 
the answer. 1 And, as experience has shown, the 
more that rigid good faith is kept to in giving the 
answer, the more that strictness and severity of even 
understatement are observed, the more convincing 
will be the result that the Roman Church cannot be 
that which it is alleged to be in its necessary theory 
and ideal. 

But this task was never adequately undertaken. 
It was one of no easy execution. 2 Other things, 
apparently more immediately pressing, intervened. 
There was no question for the present of perfect 
and unfeigned confidence in the English Church, 
with whatever regrets for its shortcomings, and desires 
for its improvement. But to the outside world it 
seemed as if there were a reluctance to face seriously 
the whole of the Roman controversy ; a disposition to 
be indulgent to Roman defects, and unfairly hard on 
English faults. How mischievously this told in the 
course of opinion outside and inside of the movement; 
how it was misinterpreted and misrepresented ; how 

1 The argument from history is sketched fairly, but only 
sketched in The Prophetic Office, Lect. xiv. 

2 In the Roman controversy it is sometimes hard to be just 
without appearing to mean more than is said ; for the obligation of 
justice sometimes forces one who wishes to be a fair judge to be 
apparently an apologist or advocate. Yet the supreme duty in 
religious controversy is justice. But for the very reason that these 
controversialists wished to be just to Rome, they were bound to be 
just against her. They meant to be so ; but events passed quickly, 
and leisure never came for a work which involved a serious appeal 
to history. 


these misinterpretations and misrepresentations, with 
the bitterness and injustice which they engendered, 
helped to realise themselves, was seen but too clearly 
at a later stage. 

4. Lastly, looking back on the publications, re- 
garded as characteristic of the party, it is difficult not 
to feel that some of them gave an unfortunate and 
unnecessary turn to things. 

The book which made most stir and caused the 
greatest outcry was Froude's Remains. It was un- 
doubtedly a bold experiment ; but it was not merely 
boldness. Except that it might be perverted into an 
excuse by the shallow and thoughtless for merely 
"strong talk," it may fairly be said that it was right 
and wise to let the world know the full measure and 
depth of conviction which gave birth to the move- 
ment ; and Froude's Remains did that in an unsus- 
piciously genuine way that nothing else could have 
done. And, besides, it was worth while for its own 
sake to exhibit with fearless honesty such a character, 
so high, so true, so refined, so heroic. So again, Dr. 
Pusey's Tract on Baptism was a bold book, and one 
which brought heavy imputations and misconstructions 
on the party. In the teaching of his long life, Dr. 
Pusey has abundantly dispelled the charges of harsh- 
ness and over-severity which were urged, not always 
very scrupulously, against the doctrine of the Tract 
on Post-baptismal Sin. But it was written to redress 
the balance against the fatally easy doctrines then in 
fashion ; it was like the Portroyalist protest against 


the fashionable Jesuits ; it was one-sided, and some- 
times, in his earnestness, unguarded; and it wanted 
as yet the complement of encouragement, consolation, 
and tenderness which his future teaching was to supply 
so amply. But it was a blow struck, not before it 
was necessary, by a strong hand ; and it may safely 
be said that it settled the place of the sacrament of 
baptism in the living system of the English Church, 
which the negations and vagueness of the Evangelical 
party had gravely endangered. But two other essays 
appeared in the Tracts, most innocent in themselves, 
which ten or twenty years later would have been 
judged simply on their merits, but which at the time 
became potent weapons against Tractarianism. They 
were the productions of two poets — of two of the most 
beautiful and religious minds of their time ; but in 
that stage of the movement it is hardly too much 
to say that they were out of place. The cause of the 
movement needed clear explanations ; definite state- 
ments of doctrines which were popularly misunder- 
stood ; plain, convincing reasoning on the issues which 
were raised by it ; a careful laying out of the ground 
on which English theology was to be strengthened 
and enriched. Such were Mr. Newman's Lectures on 
Justification, a work which made its lasting mark on 
English theological thought ; Mr. Keble's masterly 
exposition of the meaning of Tradition ; and not least, 
the important collections which were documentary 
and historical evidence of the character of English 
theology, the so-called laborious Catenas. These 


were the real tasks of the hour, and they needed all 
that labour and industry could give. But the first of 
these inopportune Tracts was an elaborate essay, by 
Mr. Keble, on the " Mysticism of the Fathers in the 
use and interpretation of Scripture." It was hardly 
what the practical needs of the time required, and it 
took away men's thoughts from them ; the prospect 
was hopeless that in that state of men's minds it 
should be understood, except by a very few ; it merely 
helped to add another charge, the vague but mis- 
chievous charge of mysticism, to the list of accusations 
against the Tracts. The other, to the astonishment 
of every one, was like the explosion of a mine. That 
it should be criticised and objected to was natural ; 
but the extraordinary irritation caused by it could 
hardly have been anticipated. Written in the most 
devout and reverent spirit by one of the gentlest and 
most refined of scholars, and full of deep Scriptural 
knowledge, it furnished for some years the material 
for the most savage attacks and the bitterest sneers to 
the opponents of the movement. It was called " On 
Reserve in communicating Religious Knowledge " ; 
and it was a protest against the coarseness and 
shallowness which threw the most sacred words about 
at random in loud and declamatory appeals, and 
which especially dragged in the awful mystery of the 
Atonement, under the crudest and most vulgar con- 
ception of it, as a ready topic of excitement in other- 
wise commonplace and helpless preaching. The 
word "Reserve" was enough. It meant that the 


Tract-writers avowed the principle of keeping back 
part of the counsel of God. It meant, further, that 
the real spirit of the party was disclosed ; its love 
of secret and crooked methods, its indifference to 
knowledge, its disingenuous professions, its deliberate 
concealments, its holding doctrines and its pursuit of 
aims which it dared not avow, its discipli7ia arca?u\ 
its conspiracies, its Jesuitical spirit. All this kind 
of abuse was flung plentifully on the party as the 
controversy became warm ; and it mainly justified 
itself by the Tract on " Reserve." The Tract was in 
many ways a beautiful and suggestive essay, full of 
deep and original thoughts, though composed in that 
spirit of the recluse which was characteristic of the 
writer, and which is in strong contrast with the 
energetic temper of to-day. 1 But it could well have 
been spared at the moment, and it certainly offered 
itself to an unfortunate use. The suspiciousness 
which so innocently it helped to awaken and confirm 
was never again allayed. 

1 Vide a striking review in the British Critic, April 1839, 
partly correcting and guarding the view given in the Tract. 


NO. 90 

The formation of a strong Romanising section in the 
Tractarian party was obviously damaging to the party 
and dangerous to the Church. It was pro tan to a 
verification of the fundamental charge against the 
party, a charge which on paper they had met success- 
fully, but which acquired double force when this 
paper defence was traversed by facts. And a great 
blow was impending over the Church, if the zeal and 
ability which the movement had called forth and 
animated were to be sucked away from the Church, 
and not only lost to it, but educated into a special 
instrument against it. But the divergence became 
clear only gradually, and the hope that after all it was 
only temporary and would ultimately disappear was 
long kept up by the tenacity with which Mr. Newman, 
in spite of misgivings and disturbing thoughts, still 
recognised the gifts and claims of the English Church. 
And on the other hand, the bulk of the party, and 
its other Oxford leaders, Dr. Pusey, Mr. Keble, Mr. 


NO. 90 267 

Isaac Williams, Mr. Marriott, were quite unaffected 
by the disquieting apprehensions which were begin- 
ning to beset Mr. Newman. With a humbling 
consciousness of the practical shortcomings of the 
English Church, with a ready disposition to be 
honest and just towards Rome, and even to minimise 
our differences with it, they had not admitted for a 
moment any doubt of the reality of the English 
Church. The class of arguments which specially 
laid hold of Mr. Newman's mind did not tell upon 
them — the peculiar aspect of early precedents, about 
which, moreover, a good deal of criticism was pos- 
sible ; or the large and sweeping conception of a vast, 
ever-growing, imperial Church, great enough to make 
flaws and imperfections of no account, which appealed 
so strongly to his statesmanlike imagination. Their 
content with the Church in which they had been 
brought up, in which they had been taught religion, 
and in which they had taken service, their deep and 
affectionate loyalty and piety to it, in spite of all its 
faults, remained unimpaired ; and unimpaired, also, 
was their sense of vast masses of practical evil in the 
Roman Church, evils from which they shrank both as 
Englishmen and as Christians, and which seemed as 
incurable as they were undeniable. Beyond the hope 
which they vaguely cherished that some day or other, 
by some great act of Divine mercy, these evils might 
disappear, and the whole Church become once more 
united, there was nothing to draw them towards 
Rome ; submission was out of the question, and they 


could only see in its attitude in England the hostility 
of a jealous and unscrupulous disturber of their 
Master's work. The movement still went on, with its 
original purpose, and on its original lines, in spite of 
the presence in it, and even the co-operation, of men 
who might one day have other views, and serious and 
fatal differences with their old friends. 

The change of religion when it comes on a man 
gradually, — when it is not welcomed from the first, 
but, on the contrary, long resisted, must always be a 
mysterious and perplexing process, hard to realise and 
follow by the person most deeply interested, veiled 
and clouded to lookers-on, because naturally belonging 
to the deepest depths of the human conscience, and 
inevitably, and without much fault on either side, 
liable to be misinterpreted and misunderstood. And 
this process is all the more tangled when it goes on, 
not in an individual mind, travelling in its own way 
on its own path, little affected by others, and little 
affecting them, but in a representative person, with 
the responsibilities of a great cause upon him, bound 
by closest ties of every kind to friends, colleagues, 
and disciples, thinking, feeling, leading, pointing out 
the way for hundreds who love and depend on him. 
Views and feelings vary from day to day, according to 
the events and conditions of the day. How shall he 
speak, and how shall he be silent ? How shall he let 
doubts and difficulties appear, yet how shall he sup- 
press them? — Doubts which may grow and become 
hopeless, but which, on the other hand, may be 


NO. 90 269 

solved and disappear. How shall he go on as if 
nothing had happened, when all the foundations of 
the world seem to have sunk from under him ? Yet 
how shall he disclose the dreadful secret, when he is 
not yet quite sure whether his mind will not still rally 
from its terror and despair? He must in honesty, in 
kindness, give some warning, yet how much? and 
how to prevent it being taken for more than it means ? 
There are counter-considerations, to which he cannot 
shut his eyes. There are friends who will not believe 
his warnings. There are watchful enemies who are 
on the look-out for proofs of disingenuousness and 
bad faith. He could cut through his difficulties at 
once by making the plunge in obedience to this or 
that plausible sign or train of reasoning, but his con- 
science and good faith will not let him take things so 
easily ; and yet he knows that if he hangs on, he will 
be accused by and by, perhaps speciously, of having 
been dishonest and deceiving. So subtle, so shifting, 
so impalpable are the steps by which a faith is dis- 
integrated; so evanescent, and impossible to follow, 
the shades by which one set of convictions pass into 
others wholly opposite ; for it is not knowledge and 
intellect alone which come into play, but all the moral 
tastes and habits of the character, its likings and 
dislikings, its weakness and its strength, its triumphs 
and its vexations, its keenness and its insensibilities, 
which are in full action, while the intellect alone 
seems to be busy with its problems. A picture has 
been given us, belonging to this time, of the process, 


by a great master of human nature, and a great 
sufferer under the process ; it is, perhaps, the greatest 
attempt ever made to describe it ; but it is not wholly 
successful. It tells us much, for it is written with 
touching good faith, but the complete effect as an 
intelligible whole is wanting. 

" In the spring of 1839," we read in the Apologia, 
"my position in the Anglican Church was at its 
height. I had a supreme confidence in my con- 
troversial status, and I had a great and still growing 
success in recommending it to others." l This, then, 
may be taken as the point from which, in the writer's 
own estimate, the change is to be traced. He refers 
for illustration of his state of mind to the remarkable 
article on the "State of Religious Parties," in the 
April number of the British Critic for 1839, which he 
has since republished under the title of " Prospects 
of the Anglican Church." 2 "I have looked over it 
now," he writes in 1864, "for the first time since it 
was published ; and have been struck by it for this 
reason : it contains the last words which I ever spoke 
as an Anglican to Anglicans. ... It may now be 
read as my parting address and valediction, made to 
my friends. I little knew it at the time." He thus 
describes the position which he took in the article 
referred to : — 

Conscious as I was that my opinions in religious 
matters were not gained, as the world said, from Roman 

1 Apologia, p. 180. 
2 Essays Critical and Historical, 1871. 

xiv NO. 90 271 

sources, but were, on the contrary, the birth of my own 
mind and of the circumstances in which I had been 
placed,' I had a scorn of the imputations which were 
heaped upon me. It was true that I held a large, bold 
system of religion, very unlike the Protestantism of the 
day, but it was the concentration and adjustment of the 
statements of great Anglican authorities, and I had as 
much right to do so as the Evangelical party had, and 
more right than the Liberal, to hold their own respective 
doctrines. As I spoke on occasion of Tract 90, I 
claimed, on behalf of the writer, that he might hold in 
the Anglican Church a comprecation of the Saints with 
Bramhall ; and the Mass, all but Transubstantiation, 
with Andrewes ; or with Hooker that Transubstantia- 
tion itself is not a point for Churches to part communion 
upon ; or with Hammond that a General Council, truly 
such, never did, never shall err in a matter of faith ; or 
with Bull that man lost inward grace by the Fall ; or 
with Thorndike that penance is a propitiation for post- 
baptismal sin ; or with Pearson that the all-powerful 
name of Jesus is no otherwise given than in the Catholic 
Church. " Two can play at that game " was often in 
my mouth, when men of Protestant sentiments appealed 
to the Articles, Homilies, and Reformers, in the sense 
that if they had a right to speak loud I had both the 
liberty and the means of giving them tit for tat. I 
thought that the Anglican Church had been tyrannised 
over by a Party, and I aimed at bringing into effect the 
promise contained in the motto to the Lyra : " They 
shall know the difference now.'' I only asked to be 
allowed to show them the difference. 

I have said already (he goes on) that though the 


object of the movement was to withstand the Liberal- 
ism of the day, I found and felt that this could not be 
done by negatives. It was necessary for me to have 
a positive Church theory erected on a definite basis. 
This took me to the great Anglican divines ; and then, 
of course, I found at once that it was impossible to form 
any such theory without cutting across the teaching of 
the Church of Rome. Thus came in the Roman con- 
troversy. When I first turned myself to it I had neither 
doubt on the subject, nor suspicion that doubt would 
ever come on me. It was in this state of mind that I 
began to read up Bellarmine on the one hand, and 
numberless Anglican writers on the other. 1 

And he quotes from the article the language which 
he used, to show the necessity of providing some clear 
and strong basis for religious thought in view of the 
impending conflict of principles, religious and anti- 
religious, "Catholic and Rationalist," which to far- 
seeing men, even at that comparatively early time, 
seemed inevitable : — 

Then indeed will be the stern encounter, when two 
real and living principles, simple, entire, and consistent, 
one in the Church, the other out of it, at length rush 
upon each other, contending not for names and words, 
a half view, but for elementary notions and distinctive 
moral characters. Men will not keep standing in that 
very attitude which you call sound Church-of-Englandism 
or orthodox Protestantism. They will take one view or 

1 Apologia, pp. 1 8 1, 1 82. Comp. Letter to J elf, p. 18. 

xiv NO. 90 273 

another, but it will be a consistent one ... it will be real. 
. . . Is it sensible, sober, judicious, to be so very angry 
with the writers of the day who point to the fact, that 
our divines of the seventeenth century have occupied a 
ground which is the true and intelligible mean between 
extremes ? . . . Would you rather have your sons and 
your daughters members of the Church of England or 
of the Church of Rome ? 1 

"The last words that I spoke as an Anglican to 
Anglicans," — so he describes this statement of his 
position and its reasons ; so it seems to him, as he 
looks back. And yet in the intimate and frank dis- 
closures which he makes, he has shown us much that 
indicates both that his Anglicanism lasted much longer 
and that his Roman sympathies began to stir much 
earlier. This only shows the enormous difficulties of 
measuring accurately the steps of a transition state. 
The mind, in such a strain of buffeting, is never in one 
stay. The old seems impregnable, yet it has been 
undermined; the new is indignantly and honestly 
repelled, and yet leaves behind it its never-to-be- 
forgotten and unaccountable spell. The story, as he 
tells it, goes on, how, in the full swing and confidence 
of his Anglicanism, and in the course of his secure 
and fearless study of antiquity, appearance after 
appearance presented itself, unexpected, threatening, 
obstinate, in the history of the Early Church, by which 
this confidence was first shaken and then utterly broken 

1 British Critic, April 1839, pp. 419-426. Condensed in the 
Apologia, pp. 192-194. 


down in the summer of 1839. And he speaks as 
though all had been over after two years from that 
summer : " From the end of 184 1 I was on my death- 
bed, as regards my membership with the Anglican 
Church, though at the time I became aware of it only 
by degrees." In truth, it was only the end which 
showed that it was a " death-bed." He had not yet 
died to allegiance or " to hope, then or for some time 
afterwards." He speaks in later years of the result, 
and reads what was then in the light of what followed. 
But after all that had happened, and much, of course, 
disturbing happened in 1841, he was a long way off 
from what then could have been spoken of as "a 
death-bed." Deep and painful misgivings may assail 
the sincerest faith ; they are not fatal signs till faith 
has finally given way. 

What is true is, that the whole state of religion, 
and the whole aspect of Christianity in the world, 
had come to seem to him portentously strange and 
anomalous. No theory would take in and suit all the 
facts, which the certainties of history and experience 
presented. Neither in England, nor in Rome, and 
much less anywhere else, did the old, to which all 
appealed, agree with the new ; it might agree variously 
in this point or in that, in others there were contrarie- 
ties which it was vain to reconcile. Facts were against 
the English claim to be a Catholic Church — how 
could Catholicity be shut up in one island? How 
could England assert its continuity of doctrine ? Facts 
were against the Roman claim to be an infallible, and 

xiv NO. 90 275 

a perfect, and the whole Church — how could that be 
perfect which was marked in the face of day with 
enormous and undeniable corruptions ? How could 
that be infallible which was irreconcilable with ancient 
teaching? How could that be the whole Church, 
which, to say nothing of the break-up in the West, 
ignored, as if it had no existence, the ancient and 
uninterrupted Eastern Church ? Theory after theory 
came up, and was tried, and was found wanting. Each 
had much to say for itself, its strong points, its superi- 
ority over its rivals in dealing with the difficulties of 
the case, its plausibilities and its imaginative attrac- 
tions. But all had their tender spot, and flinched 
when they were touched in earnest. In the confusions 
and sins and divisions of the last fifteen centuries, 
profound disorganisation had fastened on the Western 
Church. Christendom was not, could not be pre- 
tended to be, what it had been in the fourth century ; 
and whichever way men looked the reasons were not 
hard to see. The first and characteristic feeling of 
the movement, one which Mr. Newman had done so 
much to deepen, was that of shame and humiliation 
at the disorder at home, as well as in every part of 
the Church. It was not in Rome only, or in England 
only ; it was everywhere. What had been peculiar 
to Anglicanism among all its rivals, was that it had 
emphatically and without reserve confessed it. 

With this view of the dislocation and the sins of 
the Church, he could at once with perfect consistency 
recognise the shortcomings of the English branch of 


the Church, and yet believe and maintain that it was 
a true and living branch. The English fragment was 
not what it should be, was indeed much that it should 
not be ; the same could be said of the Roman, though 
in different respects. This, as he himself reminds us, 
was no new thing to his mind when the unsettlement 
of 1839 began. "At the end of 1835, or the begin- 
ning of 1836, I had the whole state of the question 
before me, on which, to my mind, the decision between 
the Churches depended." It did not, he says, depend 
on the claims of the Pope, as centre of unity ; " it 
turned on the Faith of the Church " ; " there was a 
contrariety of claims between the Roman and Anglican 
religions"; and up to 1839, w ^ n tne m ^ weight of 
Roman arguments recognised, with the full conscious- 
ness of Anglican disadvantages, he yet spoke clearly for 
Anglicanism. Even when misgivings became serious, 
the balance still inclined without question the old way. 
He hardly spoke stronger in 1834 than he did in 1841, 
after No. 90. 

And now (he writes in his Letter to the Bishop of 
Oxford *) having said, I trust, as much as your Lordship 
requires on the subject of Romanism, I will add a few 
words, to complete my explanation, in acknowledgment 
of the inestimable privilege I feel in being a member of 
that Church over which your Lordship, with others, pre- 
sides. Indeed, did I not feel it to be a privilege which 

1 Letter to the Bishop of Oxford (29th March 1841), pp. 33-4°« 
Comp. Letter to Jelf, pp. 7, 8. 

xiv NO. 90 277 

I am able to seek nowhere else on earth, why should I 
be at this moment writing to your Lordship ? What 
motive have I for an unreserved and joyful submission 
to your authority, but the feeling that the Church in 
which your Lordship rules is a divinely-ordained channel 
of supernatural grace to the souls of her members ? 
Why should I not prefer my own opinion, and my own 
way of acting, to that of the Bishop's, except that I know 
full well that in matters indifferent I should be acting 
lightly towards the Spouse of Christ and the awful 
Presence which dwells in her, if I hesitated a moment 
to put your Lordship's will before my own ? I know 
full well that your Lordship's kindness to me personally 
would be in itself quite enough to win any but the most 
insensible heart, and, did a clear matter of conscience 
occur in which I felt bound to act for myself, my feelings 
towards your Lordship would be a most severe trial to 
me, independently of the higher considerations to which 
I have alluded ; but I trust I have shown my dutifulness 
to you prior to the influence of personal motives ; and 
this I have done because I think that to belong to the 
Catholic Church is the first of all privileges here below, 
as involving in it heavenly privileges, and because I 
consider the Church over which your Lordship presides 
to be the Catholic Church in this country. Surely then 
I have no need to profess in words, I will not say my 
attachment, but my deep reverence towards the Mother 
of Saints, when I am showing it in action ; yet that 
words may not be altogether wanting, I beg to lay before 
your Lordship the following extract from a defence of 
tfae English Church, which I wrote against a Roman 
controversialist in the course of the last year. 


" The Church is emphatically a living body, and there 
can be no greater proof of a particular communion being 
part of the Church than the appearance in it of a con- 
tinued and abiding energy, nor a more melancholy proof 
of its being a corpse than torpidity. We say an energy 
continued and abiding, for accident will cause the activity 
of a moment, and an external principle give the semblance 
of self-motion. On the other hand, even a living body 
may for a while be asleep. 

" It concerns, then, those who deny that we are the 
true Church because we have not at present this special 
note, intercommunion with other Christians, to show 
cause why the Roman Church in the tenth century 
should be so accounted, with profligates, or rather the 
profligate mothers of profligate sons for her supreme 
rulers. And still notwithstanding life is a note of the 
Church ; she alone revives, even if she declines ; heretical 
and schismatical bodies cannot keep life ; they gradu- 
ally became cold, stifT, and insensible. 

" Now if there ever were a Church on whom the 
experiment has been tried, whether it had life in it or 
not, the English is that one. For three centuries it has 
endured all vicissitudes of fortune. It has endured in 
trouble and prosperity, under seduction, and under 
oppression. It has been practised upon by theorists, 
browbeaten by sophists, intimidated by princes, betrayed 
by false sons, laid waste by tyranny, corrupted by 
wealth, torn by schism, and persecuted by fanaticism. 
Revolutions have come upon it sharply and suddenly, 'to 
and fro, hot and cold, as if to try what it was made of. 


NO. 90 279 

It has been a sort of battlefield on which opposite prin- 
ciples have been tried. No opinion, however extreme 
any way, but may be found, as the Romanists are not 
slow to reproach us, among its Bishops and Divines. 
Yet what has been its career upon the whole ? Which 
way has it been moving through 300 years ? Where 
does it find itself at the end ? Lutherans have tended 
to Rationalism ; Calvinists have become Socinians ; but 
what has it become ? As far as its Formularies are 
concerned, it may be said all along to have grown 
towards a more perfect Catholicism than that with which 
it started at the time of its estrangement ; every act, 
every crisis which marks its course, has been upward. 

" What a note of the Church is the mere production 
of a man like Butler, a pregnant fact much to be medi- 
tated on ! and how strange it is, if it be as it seems to 
be, that the real influence of his work is only just now 
beginning ! and who can prophesy in what it will end ? 
Thus our Divines grow with centuries, expanding after 
their death in the minds of their readers into more and 
more exact Catholicism as years roll on. 

" Look across the Atlantic to the daughter Churches 
of England in the States : ' Shall one that is barren bear 
a child in her old age ? ' yet ' the barren hath borne 
seven.' Schismatic branches put out their leaves at 
once, in an expiring effort ; our Church has waited three 
centuries, and then blossoms like Aaron's rod, budding 
and blooming and yielding fruit, while the rest are dry. 
And lastly, look at the present position of the Church at 
home ; there, too, we shall find a note of the true City 


of God, the Holy Jerusalem. She is in warfare with the 
world, as the Church Militant should be ; she is rebuking 
the world, she is hated, she is pillaged by the world. 

" Much might be said on this subject. At all times, 
since Christianity came into the world, an open contest 
has been going on between religion and irreligion ; and 
the true Church, of course, has ever been on the religious 
side. This, then, is a sure test in every age where the 
Christian should stand. . . . Now, applying this simple 
criterion to the public Parties of this day, it is very 
plain that the English Church is at present on God's 
side, and therefore, so far, God's Church ; we are sorry 
to be obliged to add that there is as little doubt on 
which side English Romanism is. 

"As for the English Church, surely she has notes 
enough, ' the signs of an Apostle in all patience, and 
signs and wonders and mighty deeds.' She has the 
note of possession, the note of freedom from party- 
titles ; the note of life, a tough life and a vigorous ; she 
has ancient descent, unbroken continuance, agreement 
in doctrine with the ancient Church. Those of Bellar- 
mine's Notes, which she certainly has not, are inter- 
communion with Christendom, the glory of miracles, 
and the prophetical light, but the question is, whether 
she has not enough of Divinity about her to satisfy her 
sister Churches on their own principles, that she is one 
body with them." 

This may be sufficient to show my feelings towards 
my Church, as far as Statements on paper can show 


NO. 90 281 

How earnestly, how sincerely he clung to the 
English Church, even after he describes himself on 
his "death-bed," no one can doubt. The charm of 
the Apologia is the perfect candour with which he 
records fluctuations which to many are inconceivable 
and unintelligible, the different and sometimes op- 
posite and irreconcilable states of mind through which 
he passed, with no attempt to make one fit into 
another. It is clear, from what he tells us, that his 
words in 1839 were not his last words as an Anglican 
to Anglicans. With whatever troubles of mind, he 
strove to be a loyal and faithful Anglican long after 
that. He spoke as an Anglican. He fought for 
Anglicanism. The theory, as he says, may have gone 
by the board, in the intellectual storms raised by the 
histories of the Monophysites and Donatists. " By 
these great words of the ancient father — Securus 
judicat orbis terrarum " — the theory of the Via Media 
was "absolutely pulverised." He was "sore," as he 
says in 1840, "about the great Anglican divines, as 
if they had taken me in, and made me say strong 
things against Rome, which facts did not justify." l 
Yes, he felt, as other men do not feel, the weak 
points of even a strong argument, the exaggerations 
and unfairness of controversialists on his own side, 
the consciousness that you cannot have things in 
fact, or in theory, or in reasoning, smoothly and 
exactly as it would be convenient, and as you would 
like to have them. But his conclusion, on the whole, 

1 Apologia, pp. 212, 221. 


was unshaken. There was enough, and amply enough, 
in the English Church to bind him to its allegiance, 
to satisfy him of its truth and its life, enough in the 
Roman to warn him away. In the confusions of 
Christendom, in the strong and obstinate differences 
of schools and parties in the English Church, he, 
living in days of inquiry and criticism, claimed to take 
and recommend a theological position on many con- 
troverted questions, which many might think a new 
one, and which might not be exactly that occupied 
by any existing school or party. 1 " We are all," he 
writes to an intimate friend on 2 2d April 1842, a year 
after No. 90, " much quieter and more resigned than 
we were, and are remarkably desirous of building up 
a position, and proving that the English theory is 
tenable, or rather the English state of things. If the 
Bishops would leave us alone, the fever would sub- 

He wanted, when all other parties were claiming 
room for their speculations, to claim room for his 
own preference for ancient doctrine. He w T ished to 
make out that no branch of the Church had authori- 
tatively committed itself to language which was 
hopelessly and fatally irreconcilable with Christian 
truth. But he claimed nothing but what he could 
maintain to be fairly within the authorised formularies 
of the English Church. He courted inquiry, he 
courted argument. If his claim seemed a new one, 
if his avowed leaning to ancient and Catholic views 
1 Letter to Jelf [especially p. xg]. 


NO. 90 283 

seemed to make him more tolerant than had been 
customary, not to Roman abuses, but to Roman 
authoritative language, it was part of the more 
accurate and the more temperate and charitable 
thought of our day compared with past times. It 
was part of the same change which has brought 
Church opinions from the unmitigated Calvinism of 
the Lambeth Articles to what the authorities of those 
days would have denounced, without a doubt, as 
Arminianism. Hooker was gravely and seriously 
accused to the Council for saying that a Papist could 
be saved, and had some difficulty to clear himself ; it 
was as natural then as it is amazing now. 1 

But with this sincere loyalty to the English Church, 
as he believed it to be, there was, no doubt, in the 
background the haunting and disquieting misgiving 
that the attempt to connect more closely the modern 
Church with the ancient, and this widened theology 
in a direction which had been hitherto specially and 
jealously barred, was putting the English Church on 
its trial. Would it bear it ? Would it respond to the 
call to rise to a higher and wider type of doctrine, to 
a higher standard of life ? Would it justify what Mr. 
Newman had placed in the forefront among the notes 
of the true Church, the note of Sanctity ? Would the 
Via Media make up for its incompleteness as a theory 
by developing into reality and fruitfulness of actual 
results? Would the Church bear to be told of its 
defaults? Would it allow to the maintainers of 

1 Walton's Life, i. 59 (Oxford : 1845). 


Catholic and Anglican principles the liberty which 
others claimed, and which by large and powerful 
bodies of opinion was denied to Anglicans? Or 
would it turn out on trial, that the Via Media was an 
idea without substance, a dialectical fiction, a mere 
theological expedient for getting out of difficulties, 
unrecognised, and when put forward, disowned ? 
Would it turn out that the line of thought and 
teaching which connected the modern with the 
ancient Church was but the private and accidental 
opinion of Hooker and Andrewes and Bull and 
Wilson, unauthorised in the English Church, 
uncongenial to its spirit, if not contradictory to its 
formularies ? It is only just to Mr. Newman to say, 
that even after some of his friends were frightened, 
he long continued to hope for the best; but un- 
doubtedly, more and more, his belief in the reality of 
the English Church was undergoing a very severe, and 
as time went on, discouraging testing. 

In this state of things he published the Tract No. 
90. It was occasioned by the common allegation, 
on the side of some of the advanced section of the 
Tractarians, as well as on the side of their opponents, 
that the Thirty-nine Articles were hopelessly irre- 
concilable with that Catholic teaching which Mr. 
Newman had defended on the authority of our great 
divines, but which both the parties above mentioned 
were ready to identify with the teaching of the Roman 
Church. The Tract was intended, by a rigorous 
examination of the language of the Articles, to 

xiv NO. 90 285 

traverse this allegation. It sought to show that all that 
was clearly and undoubtedly Catholic, this language 
left untouched : l that it was doubtful whether even 
the formal definitions of the Council of Trent were 
directly and intentionally contradicted ; and that what 
were really aimed at were the abuses and perversions 
of a great popular and authorised system, tyrannical by 
the force of custom and the obstinate refusal of any 
real reformation. 

It is often urged (says the writer), and sometimes felt 
and granted, that there are in the Articles propositions 
or terms inconsistent with the Catholic faith ; or, at 
least, if persons do not go so far as to feel the objection 
as of force, they are perplexed how best to answer it, or 
how most simply to explain the passages on which it is 
made to rest. The following Tract is drawn up with 
the view of showing how groundless the objection is, 
and further, of approximating towards the argumentative 
answer to it, of which most men have an implicit 
apprehension, though they may have nothing more. 
That there are real difficulties to a Catholic Christian in 
the ecclesiastical position of our Church at this day, no 
one can deny ; but the statements of the Articles are not 
in the number, and it may be right at the present 
moment to insist upon this. 

When met by the objection that the ideas of the 
framers of the Articles were well known, and that it 
was notorious that they had meant to put an insuper- 
able barrier between the English Church and every- 

1 No. 90, p. 24. 


thing that savoured of Rome, the writer replied that 
the actual English Church received the Articles not 
from them but from a much later authority, that we 
are bound by their words not by their private senti- 
ments either as theologians or ecclesiastical politicians, 
and that in fact they had intended the Articles to 
comprehend a great body of their countrymen, who 
would have been driven away by any extreme and 
anti-Catholic declarations even against Rome. The 
temper of compromise is characteristic of the English 
as contrasted with the foreign Reformation. It is 
visible, not only in the Articles, but in the polity of 
the English Church, which clung so obstinately to 
the continuity and forms of the ancient hierarchical 
system. It is visible in the sacramental offices of 
the Prayer Book, which left so much out to satisfy 
the Protestants, and left so much in to satisfy the 

The Tract went in detail through the Articles 
which were commonly looked upon as either anti- 
Catholic or anti-Roman. It went through them with 
a dry logical way of interpretation, such as a professed 
theologian might use, who was accustomed to all the 
niceties of language and the distinctions of the 
science. It was the way in which they would be 
likely to be examined and construed by a purely legal 
court. The effect of it, doubtless, was like that 
produced on ordinary minds by the refinements of a 
subtle advocate, or by the judicial interpretation of an 
Act of Parliament which the judges do not like ; and 

xiv NO. 90 287 

some of the interpretations undoubtedly seemed far- 
fetched and artificial. Yet some of those which were 
pointed to at the time as flagrant instances of extra- 
vagant misinterpretation have now come to look 
different. Nothing could exceed the scorn poured on 
the interpretation of the Twenty-second Article, that 
it condemns the "Roman" doctrine of Purgatory, 
but not all doctrine of purgatory as a place of gradual 
purification beyond death. But in our days a school 
very far removed from Mr. Newman's would require 
and would claim to make the same distinction. And 
so with the interpretation of the "Sacrifices of 
Masses " in the same article. It was the fashion in 
1 841 to see in this the condemnation of all doctrine 
of a sacrifice in the Eucharist ; and when Mr. New- 
man confined the phrase to the gross abuses connected 
with the Mass, this was treated as an affront to 
common sense and honesty. Since then we have 
become better acquainted with the language of the 
ancient liturgies ; and no instructed theologian could 
now venture to treat Mr. Newman's distinction as 
idle. There was in fact nothing new in his distinc- 
tions on these two points. They had already been 
made in two of the preceding Tracts, the reprint of 
Archbishop Ussher on Prayers for the Dead, and the 
Catena on the Eucharistic Sacrifice; and in both 
cases the distinctions were supported by a great mass 
of Anglican authority. 1 

1 The following letter of Mr. James Mozley (8th March 1841) 
gives the first impression of the Tract : — " A new Tract has come 


But the Tract had sufficient novelty about it to 
account for most of the excitement which it caused. 
Its dryness and negative curtness were provoking. It 
was not a positive argument, it was not an appeal to 
authorities ; it was a paring down of language, alleged 
in certain portions of the Articles to be somewhat 
loose, to its barest meaning; and to those to whom 
that language had always seemed to speak with fulness 
and decision, it seemed like sapping and undermining 
a cherished bulwark. Then it seemed to ask for more 
liberty than the writer in his position at that time 
needed ; and the object of such an indefinite claim, in 
order to remove, if possible, misunderstandings be- 
tween two long -alienated branches of the Western 
Church, was one to excite in many minds profound 
horror and dismay. That it maintained without 
flinching and as strongly as ever the position and the 
claim of the English Church was nothing to the pur- 
out this week, and is beginning to make a sensation. It is on the 
Articles, and shows that they bear a highly Catholic meaning ; and 
that many doctrines, of which the Romanist are corruptions, may 
be held consistently with them. This is no more than what we 
know as a matter of history, for the Articles were expressly worded 
to bring in Roman Catholics. But people are astonished and 
confused at the idea now, as if it were quite new. And they have 
been so accustomed for a long time to look at the Articles as on 
a par with the Creed, that they think, I suppose, that if they 
subscribe to them they are bound to hold whatever doctrines (not 
positively stated in them) are merely not condemned. So if they 
will have a Tractarian sense, they are thereby all Tractarians. . . . 
It is, of course, highly complimentary to the whole set of us to be 
so very much surprised that we should think what we held to be 
consistent with the Articles which we have subscribed." See also 
a clever Whateleian pamphlet, "The Controversy between Tract 
No. 90 and the Oxford Tutors." (How and Parsons, 1841.) 

xiv NO. 90 289 

pose ; the admission, both that Rome, though wrong, 
might not be as wrong as we thought her, and that the 
language of the Articles, though unquestionably con- 
demnatory of much, was not condemnatory of as much 
as people thought, and might possibly be even harmon- 
ised with Roman authoritative language, was looked 
upon as incompatible with loyalty to the English 

The question which the Tract had opened, what 
the Articles meant and to what men were bound by 
accepting them, was a most legitimate one for discus- 
sion ; and it was most natural also that any one should 
hesitate to answer it as the Tract answered it. But it 
was distinctly a question for discussion. It was not 
so easy for any of the parties in the Church to give a 
clear and consistent answer, as that the matter ought 
at once to have been carried out of the region of 
discussion. The Articles were the Articles of a Church 
which had seen as great differences as those between 
the Church of Edward VI and the Church of the 
Restoration. Take them broadly as the condemnation 
— strong but loose in expression, as, for instance, in 
the language on the "five, commonly called Sacra- 
ments" — of a powerful and well-known antagonist 
system, and there was no difficulty about them. But 
take them as scientific and accurate and precise enun- 
ciations of a systematic theology, and difficulties begin 
at once, with every one who does not hold the special 
and well-marked doctrines of the age when the German 
and Swiss authorities ruled supreme. The course of 


events from that day to this has shown more than 
once, in surprising and even startling examples, how 
much those who at the time least thought that they 
needed such strict construing of the language of the 
Articles, and were fierce in denouncing the " kind of 
interpretation" said to be claimed in No. 90, have 
since found that they require a good deal more 
elasticity of reading than even it asked for. The 
"whirligig of time" was thought to have brought "its 
revenges," when Mr. Newman, who had called for the 
exercise of authority against Dr. Hampden, found 
himself, five years afterwards, under the ban of the 
same authority. The difference between Mr. New- 
man's case and Dr. Hampden's, both as to the alleged 
offence and the position of the men, was considerable. 
But the "whirligig of time" brought about even stranger 
" revenges," when not only Mr. Gorham and Mr. H. 
B. Wilson in their own defence, but the tribunals 
which had to decide on their cases, carried the strict- 
ness of reading and the latitude of interpretation, 
quite as far, to say the least, as anything in No. 90. 

Unhappily Tract 90 was met at Oxford, not with 
argument, but with panic and wrath. 1 There is always 
a sting in every charge, to which other parts of it 
seem subordinate. No. 90 was charged of course 
with false doctrine, with false history, and with false 
reasoning ; but the emphatic part of the charge, the 
short and easy method which dispensed from the 
necessity of theological examination and argument, 
1 Sec J. B. Mozley's Letters, 13th March 1841. 


NO. 90 291 

was that it was dishonest and immoral. Professors 
of Divinity, and accomplished scholars, such as there 
were in Oxford, might very well have considered it an 
occasion to dispute both the general principle of the 
Tract, if it was so dangerous, and the illustrations, in 
the abundance of which the writer had so frankly 
thrown open his position to searching criticism. It 
was a crisis in which much might have been usefully 
said, if there had been any one to say it ; much too, 
to make any one feel, if he was competent to feel, 
that he had a good deal to think about in his own 
position, and that it would be well to ascertain what 
was tenable and what untenable in it. But it seemed 
as if the opportunity must not be lost for striking a 
blow. The Tract was published on 27 th February. 
On the 8th of March four Senior Tutors, one of whom 
was Mr. H. B. Wilson, of St. John's, and another 
Mr. Tait, of Balliol, addressed the Editor of the Tract, 
charging No. 90 with suggesting and opening a way, 
by which men might, at least in the case of Roman 
views, violate their solemn engagements to their 
University. On the 15th of March, the Board of 
Heads of Houses, refusing to wait for Mr. Newman's 
defence, which was known to be coming, and which 
bears date 13th March, published their judgment. 
They declared that in No. 90 "modes of interpretation 
were suggested, and have since been advocated in 
other publications purporting to be written by mem- 
bers of the University, by which subscription to the 
Articles might be reconciled with the adoption of 


Roman Catholic error." And they announced their 
resolution, "That modes of interpretation, such as 
are suggested in the said Tract, evading rather than 
explaining the sense of the Thirty-nine Articles, and 
reconciling subscription to them with the adoption of 
errors which they are designed to counteract, defeat 
the object, and are inconsistent with the due observ- 
ance of the above-mentioned statutes." l 

It was an ungenerous and stupid blunder, such as 
men make, when they think or are told that " some- 
thing must be done," and do not know what. It gave 
the writer an opportunity, of which he took full 
advantage, of showing his superiority in temper, in 
courtesy, and in reason, to those who had not so 
much condemned as insulted him. He was immedi- 
ately ready with his personal expression of apology 
and regret, and also with his reassertion in more 
developed argument of the principle of the Tract ; 
and this was followed up by further explanations in a 
letter to the Bishop. And in spite of the invidious 
position in which the Board had tried to place him, 
not merely as an unsound divine, but as a dishonest 
man teaching others to palter with their engagements, 
the crisis drew forth strong support and sympathy 
where they were not perhaps to be expected. It 
rallied to him, at least for the time, some of the 
friends who had begun to hold aloof. Mr. Palmer, of 
Worcester, Mr. Perceval, Dr. Hook, with reserves 
according to each man's point of view, yet came 
[* Scil., those cited in the preamble to this resolution.] 

xiv NO. 90 293 

forward in his defence. The Board was made to feel 
that they had been driven by violent and partisan 
instigations to commit themselves to a very foolish as 
well as a very passionate and impotent step ; that 
they had by very questionable authority simply thrown 
an ill-sounding and ill-mannered word at an argument 
on a very difficult question, to which they themselves 
certainly were not prepared with a clear and satisfac- 
tory answer ; that they had made the double mistake 
of declaring war against a formidable antagonist, and 
of beginning it by creating the impression that they 
had treated him shabbily, and were really afraid to 
come to close quarters with him. As the excitement 
of hasty counsels subsided, the sense of this began to 
awake in some of them ; they tried to represent the 
off-hand and ambiguous words of the condemnation 
as not meaning all that they had been taken to mean. 
But the seed of bitterness had been sown. Very 
little light was thrown, in the strife of pamphlets 
which ensued, on the main subject dealt with in No. 
90, the authority and interpretation of such formu- 
laries as our Articles. The easier and more tempting 
and very fertile topic of debate was the honesty and 
good faith of the various disputants. Of the four 
Tutors, only one, Mr. H. B. Wilson, published an 
explanation of their part in the matter; it was a clumsy, 
ill-written and laboured pamphlet, which hardly gave 
promise of the intellectual vigour subsequently dis- 
played by Mr. Wilson, when he appeared, not as the 
defender, but the assailant of received opinions. The 


more distinguished of the combatants were Mr. Ward 
and Mr. R. Lowe. Mr. Ward, with his usual dialec- 
tical skill, not only defended the Tract, but pushed 
its argument yet further, in claiming tolerance for 
doctrines alleged to be Roman. Mr. Lowe, not 
troubling himself either with theological history or 
the relation of other parties in the Church to the 
formularies, threw his strength into the popular and 
plausible topic of dishonesty, and into a bitter and 
unqualified invective against the bad faith and im- 
morality manifested in the teaching of which No. 90 
was the outcome. Dr. Faussett, as was to be expected, 
threw himself into the fray with his accustomed zest 
and violence, and caused some amusement at Oxford, 
first by exposing himself to the merciless wit of a 
reviewer in the British Critic, and then by the fright 
into which he was thrown by a rumour that his re- 
election to his professorship would be endangered by 
Tractarian votes. 1 But the storm, at Oxford at least, 
seemed to die out. The difficulty which at one 
moment threatened of a strike among some of the 
college Tutors passed ; and things went back to their 
ordinary course. But an epoch and a new point of 
departure had come into the movement. Things 
after No. 90 were never the same as to language and 
hopes and prospects as they had been before ; it was 
the date from which a new set of conditions in men's 
thoughts and attitude had to be reckoned. Each 
side felt that a certain liberty had been claimed and 

1 J. B. Mozley's Letters, 13th July 1841. 


NO. 90 295 

had been peremptorily denied. And this was more 
than confirmed by the public language of the greater 
part of the Bishops. The charges against the Tract- 
arian party of Romanising, and of flagrant dishonesty, 
long urged by irresponsible opponents, were now 
formally adopted by the University authorities, and 
specially directed against the foremost man of the 
party. From that time the fate of the party at Oxford 
was determined. It must break up. Sooner or later, 
there must be a secession more or less discrediting 
and disabling those who remained. And so the 
break-up came, and yet, so well grounded and so 
congenial to the English Church were the leading 
principles of the movement, that not even that disas- 
trous and apparently hopeless wreck prevented them 
from again asserting their claim and becoming once 
more active and powerful. The Via Media, whether 
or not logically consistent, was a thing of genuine 
English growth, and was at least a working theory. 



The proceedings about No. 90 were a declaration of 
war on the part of the Oxford authorities against the 
Tractarian party. The suspicions, alarms, antipathies, 
jealousies, which had long been smouldering among 
those in power, had at last taken shape in a definite 
act. And it was a turning-point in the history of the 
movement. After this it never was exactly what it 
had been hitherto. It had been so far a movement 
within the English Church, for its elevation and reform 
indeed, but at every step invoking its authority with 
deep respect, acknowledging allegiance to its rulers 
in unqualified and even excessive terms, and aiming 
loyally to make it in reality all that it was in its 
devotional language and its classical literature. But 
after what passed about No. 90 a change came. The 
party came under an official ban and stigma. The 
common consequences of harsh treatment on the 
tendencies and thought of a party, which considers 
itself unjustly proscribed, showed themselves more 


AFTER XO. 90 297 

and more. Its mind was divided ; its temper was 
exasperated; while the attitude of the governing 
authorities hardened more into determined hostility. 
From the time of the censure, and especially after 
the events connected with it, — the contest for the 
Poetry Professorship and the renewed Hampden 
question, — it may be said that the characteristic 
tempers of the Corcyrean sedition were reproduced 
on a small scale in Oxford. 1 The scare of Popery, 
not without foundation — the reaction against it, also 
not without foundation — had thrown the wisest off 
their balance ; and what of those who were not wise ? 
In the heat of those days there were few Tractarians 
who did not think Dr. Wynter, Dr. Faussett, and Dr. 
Symons heretics in theology and persecutors in 
temper, despisers of Christian devotion and self- 
denial. There were few of the party of the Heads 
who did not think every Tractarian a dishonest and 
perjured traitor, equivocating about his most solemn 
engagements, the ignorant slave of childish super- 
stitions which he was conspiring to bring back. It 
was the day of the violent on both sides : the court- 
esies of life were forgotten ; men were afraid of being 

1 ToXp-a a\6yi<TT0S dvdpla (piXiraipos ivofxiadrj . . . to 8e 
cQxfipov rod dvdvbpov irpoaxv^i «al rb wpbs airav ^vuerbu iirl irav 
dpybv ' rb 8£\r]KTo:s 6£u dvdpbs fxolpq: TrpoaeT^dr] . . . kclI 6 
p.ev xa\e7rcu'j'WJ' iriarbs aei, 6 8i avriXeycju avr<2 vttowtos. — Thuc. 
iii. 82. ' ' Reckless daring was held to be loyal courage ; modera- 
tion was the disguise of unmanly weakness ; to know everything 
was to do nothing ; frantic energy was the true character of a man ; 
the lover of violence was always trusted, and his opponent sus- 
pected." — Jowett's translation. 


weak in their censures, their dislike, and their oppo- 
sition ; old friendships were broken up, and men 
believed the worst of those whom a few years back 
they had loved and honoured. 

It is not agreeable to recall these long extinct 
animosities, but they are part of the history of that 
time, and affected the course in which things ran. 
And it is easy to blame, it is hard to do justice to, the 
various persons and parties who contributed to the 
events of that strange and confused time. All was 
new, and unusual, and without precedent in Oxford ; 
a powerful and enthusiastic school reviving old doc- 
trines in a way to make them seem novelties, and 
creating a wild panic from a quarter where it was the 
least expected ; the terror of this panic acting on 
authorities not in the least prepared for such a trial 
of their sagacity, patience, and skill, driving them to 
unexampled severity, and to a desperate effort to expel 
the disturbing innovators — among them some of the 
first men in Oxford in character and ability — from their 
places in the University. 1 In order to do justice 

1 One of the strangest features in the conflict was the entire 
misconception shown of what Mr. Newman was — the blindness to 
his real character and objects — the imputation to him not merely 
of grave faults, but of small and mean ones. His critics could not 
rise above the poorest measure of his intellect and motives. One 
of the ablest of them, who had once been his friend, in a farewell 
letter of kindly remonstrance, specifies certain Roman errors, which 
he hopes that Mr. Newman will not fall into — adoring images and 
worshipping saints — as if the pleasure and privilege of worshipping 
images and saints were to Mr. Newman the inducement to join 
Rome and break the ties of a lifetime. And so of his moral 
qualities. A prominent Evangelical leader, Dr. Close of Chelten- 
ham, afterwards Dean of Carlisle, at a complimentary dinner, in 

xv AFTER NO. 90 299 

on each side at this distance of time, we are 
bound to make allowance — both for the alarm and 
the mistaken violence of the authorities, and for the 
disaffection, the irritation, the strange methods which 
grew up in the worried and suspected party — for the 
difficulties which beset both sides in the conflict, and 
the counter-influences which drew them hither and 
thither. But the facts are as they are ; and even 
then a calmer temper was possible to those who 
willed it ) and in the heat of the strife there were 
men among the authorities, as well as in the un- 
popular party, who kept their balance, while others 
lost it. 

Undoubtedly the publication of No. 90 was the 
occasion of the aggravated form which dissension 
took, and not unnaturally. Yet it was anything but 
what it was taken to mean by the authorities, an 
intentional move in favour of Rome. It was intended 
to reconcile a large and growing class of minds, pene- 
trated and disgusted with the ignorance and injustice 
of much of the current controversial assumptions 
against Rome, to a larger and more defensible view 
of the position of the English Church. And this 
was done by calling attention to that which was not 
now for the first time observed — to the loose and 

which he himself gloried in the " foul, personal abuse to which he 
had been subjected in his zeal for truth," proceeded to give his 
judgment on Mr. Newman : "When I first read No. 90, I did not 
then know the author ; but I said then, and I repeat here, not with 
any personal reference to the author, that I should be sorry to trust 
the author of that Tract with my purse."- — Report of Speech in 
Cheltenham Examiner, 1st March 1843. 


unguarded mode of speaking visible in the later con- 
troversial Articles, and to the contrast between them 
and the technical and precise theology of the first five 
Articles. The Articles need not mean all which they 
were supposed popularly to mean against what was 
Catholic in Roman doctrine. This was urged in 
simple good faith ; it was but the necessary assump- 
tion of all who held with the Catholic theology, which 
the Tractarians all along maintained that they had a 
right to teach ; it left plenty of ground of difference 
with unreformed and usurping Rome. And we know 
that the storm which No. 90 raised took the writer 
by surprise. He did not expect that he should give 
such deep offence. But if he thought of the effect 
on one set of minds, he forgot the probable effect on 
another ; and he forgot, or under-estimated, the effect 
not only of the things said, but of the way in which 
they were said. 1 No. 90 was a surprise, in the state 
of ordinary theological knowledge at the time. It 
was a strong thing to say that the Articles left a great 
deal of formal Roman language untouched ; but to 
work this out in dry, bald, technical logic, on the face 
of it, narrow in scope, often merely ingenious, was 
even a greater stumbling-block. It was, undoubtedly, 
a great miscalculation, such as men of keen and far- 
reaching genius sometimes make. They mistake the 
strength and set of the tide ; they imagine that minds 
round them are going as fast as their own. We can 

1 ov yap dirdxpV to %x €lp & ^ A^yetv, d\\' dvdyKrj /ecu ravra 
cos 8e? eiVeZV. — Arist. Rhet. iii. i. 

xv AFTEK XO. 90 301 

see, looking back, that such an interpretation of the 
Articles, with the view then taken of them in Oxford 
as the theological text-book, and in the condition of 
men's minds, could not but be a great shock. 

And what seemed to give a sinister significance 
to No. 90 was that, as has been said, a strong current 
was beginning to set in the direction of Rome. It 
was not yet of the nature, nor of the force, which 
was imagined. The authorities suspected it where it 
was not. They accepted any contemptible bit of 
gossip collected by ignorance or ill-nature as a proof 
of it. The constitutional frankness of Englishmen in 
finding fault with what is their own — disgust at pomp- 
ous glorification — scepticism as to our insular claims 
against all the rest of Christendom to be exactly right, 
to be alone, "pure and apostolic"; real increase and 
enlargement of knowledge, theological and historical ; 
criticism on portions of our Reformation history ; 
admiration for characters in mediaeval times ; eager- 
ness, over-generous it might be, to admit and repair 
wrong to an opponent unjustly accused ; all were set 
down together with other more unequivocal signs as 
" leanings to Rome." It was clear that there was a 
current setting towards Rome • but it was as clear 
that there was a much stronger current in the party 
as a whole, setting in the opposite direction. To 
those who chose to see and to distinguish, the love, 
the passionate loyalty of the bulk of the Tractarians 
to the English Church was as evident and unquestion- 
able as any public fact could be. At this time there 


was no reason to call in question the strong assurances 
given by the writer of No. 90 himself of his yet un- 
shaken faith in the English Church. But all these 
important features of the movement — witnessing, in- 
deed, to deep searchings of heart, but to a genuine 
desire to serve the English Church — were overlooked 
in the one overwhelming fear which had taken 
possession of the authorities. Alarming symptoms 
of a disposition to acknowledge and even exaggerate 
the claims and the attractions of the Roman system 
were indeed apparent. No doubt there were reasons 
for disquiet and anxiety. But the test of manliness 
and wisdom, in the face of such reasons, is how men 
measure their proportion, and how they meet the 

The Heads saw a real danger before them ; but 
they met it in a wrong and unworthy way. They 
committed two great errors. In the first place, like 
the Jesuits in their quarrel with Portroyal and the 
Jansenists, they entirely failed to recognise the moral 
elevation and religious purpose of the men whom they 
opposed. There was that before them which it was 
to their deep discredit that they did not see. The 
movement, whatever else it was, or whatever else it 
became, was in its first stages a movement for deeper 
religion, for a more real and earnest self-discipline, for 
a loftier morality, for more genuine self-devotion to a 
serious life, than had ever been seen in Oxford. It 
was an honest attempt to raise Oxford life, which 
by all evidence needed raising, to something more 

xv AFTER NO. 90 303 

laborious and something more religious, to something 
more worthy of the great Christian foundations of 
Oxford than the rivalry of colleges and of the schools, 
the mere literary atmosphere of the tutor's lecture- 
room, and the easy and gentlemanly and somewhat 
idle fellowship of the common-rooms. It was the 
effort of men who had all the love of scholarship, and 
the feeling for it of the Oxford of their day, to add to 
this the habits of Christian students and the pursuit 
of Christian learning. If all this was dangerous and 
uncongenial to Oxford, so much the worse for Oxford, 
with its great opportunities and great professions — 
Dominus illuminatio meet. But certainly this mark of 
moral purpose and moral force was so plain in the 
movement that the rulers of Oxford had no right to 
mistake it. When the names come back to our 
minds of those who led and most represented the 
Tractarians, it must be a matter of surprise to any 
man who has not almost parted with the idea of 
Christian goodness, that this feature of the movement 
could escape or fail to impress those who had known 
well all their lives long what these leaders were. But 
amid the clamour and the tell-tale gossip, and, it must 
be admitted, the folly round them, they missed it. 
Perhaps they were bewildered. But they must have 
the blame, the heavy blame, which belongs to all 
those who, when good is before them, do not recog- 
nise it according to its due measure. 1 

1 [Dr. Richards, the Rector of Exeter, seems to have stood apart 
from his brother heads. — Cf. Letters of the Rev, J. B. Mozley, p. 113.] 


In the next place, the authorities attacked and 
condemned the Tractarian teaching at once violently 
and ignorantly ; and in them ignorance of the ground 
on which the battle was fought was hardly pardonable. 
Doubtless the Tractarian language was in many 
respects novel and strange. But Oxford was not 
only a city of libraries, it was the home of w T hat was 
especially accounted Church theology; and the 
Tractarian teaching, in its foundation and main out- 
lines, had little but what ought to have been perfectly 
familiar to any one who chose to take the trouble to 
study the great Church of England writers. To one 
who, like Dr. Routh of Magdalen, had gone below 
the surface, and was acquainted with the questions 
debated by those divines, there was nothing startling 
in what so alarmed his brethren, whether he agreed 
with it or not ; and to him the indiscriminate charge 
of Popery meant nothing. But Dr. Routh stood 
alone among his brother Heads in his knowledge of 
what English theology was. To most of them it 
was an unexplored and misty region ; some of the 
ablest, under the influence of Dr. Whately's vigorous 
and scornful discipline, had learned to slight it. But 
there it was. Whether it was read or not, its great 
names were pronounced with honour, and quoted on 
occasion. From Hooker to Van Mildert, there was 
an unbroken thread of common principles giving 
continuity to a line of Church teachers. The Puritan 
line of doctrine, though it could claim much sanction 
anions the divines of the Reformation — the Latitudi- 


AFTER NO. 90 305 

narian idea, though it had the countenance of famous 
names and powerful intellects — never could aspire to 
the special title of Church theology. And the teach- 
ing which had that name, both in praise, and often in 
dispraise, as technical, scholastic, unspiritual, tran- 
scendental, nay, even Popish, countenanced the Tract- 
arians. They were sneered at for their ponderous 
Catena of authorities ; but on the ground on which 
this debate raged, the appeal was a pertinent and solid 
one. Yet to High Church Oxford and its rulers, 
all this was strange doctrine. Proof and quotation 
might lie before their eyes, but their minds still ran 
in one groove, and they could not realise what they 
saw. The words meant no harm in the venerable 
folio ; they meant perilous heresy in the modern 
Tract. When the authorities had to judge of the 
questions raised by the movement, they were unpro- 
vided with the adequate knowledge; and this was 
knowledge which they ought to have possessed for its 
own sake, as doctors of the Theological Faculty of the 

And it was not only for their want of learning, 
manifest all through the controversy, that they were 
to blame. Their most telling charge against the 
Tractarians, which was embodied in the censure of 
No. 90, was the charge of dishonesty. The charge 
is a very handy one against opponents, and it may 
rest on good grounds ; but those who think right to 
make it ought, both as a matter of policy and as a 
matter of conscience, to be quite assured of their 


own position. The Articles are a public, common 
document. It is the differing interpretations of a 
common document which create political and religious 
parties; and only shallowness and prejudice will 
impute to an opponent dishonesty without strong 
and clear reason. Mr. Newman's interpretation in 
No. 90, — new, not in claiming for the Articles a 
Catholic meaning, but in limiting, though it does 
not deny, their anti-Roman scope, was fairly open to 
criticism. It might be taken as a challenge, and 
as a challenge might have to be met. But it would 
have been both fair and wise in the Heads, before 
proceeding to unusual extremities, to have shown that 
they had fully considered their own theological 
doctrines in relation to the Church formularies. They 
all had obvious difficulties, and in some cases 
formidable ones. The majority of them were what 
would have been called in older controversial days 
frank Arminians, shutting their eyes by force of 
custom to the look of some of the Articles, which, if 
of Lutheran origin, had been claimed from the first 
by Calvinists. The Evangelicals had long confessed 
difficulties, at least, in the Baptismal Service and the 
Visitation Office ; while the men most loud in 
denunciation of dishonesty were the divines of 
Whately's school, who had been undermining the 
authority of all creeds and articles, and had never 
been tired of proclaiming their dislike of that solemn 
Athanasian Creed to which Prayer Book and Articles 
alike bound them. Men with these difficulties daily 

XV AFTER NO. 90 307 

before them had no right to ignore them. Doubtless 
they all had their explanations which they bona fide 
believed in. But what was there that excluded Mr. 
Newman from the claim to bona fides} He had 
attacked no foundation of Christianity \ he had 
denied or doubted no article of the Creed. He gave 
his explanations, certainly not more far-fetched than 
those of some of his judges. In a Church divided 
by many conflicting views, and therefore bound to all 
possible tolerance, he had adopted one view which 
certainly was unpopular and perhaps was dangerous. 
He might be confuted, he might be accused, or, if 
so be, convicted of error, perhaps of heresy. But 
nothing of this kind was attempted. The incompati- 
bility of his view, not merely with the Articles, but 
with morality in signing what all, of whatever party, 
had signed, was asserted in a censure, which evaded 
the responsibility of specifying the point which it 
condemned. The alarm of treachery and conspiracy 
is one of the most maddening of human impulses. 
The Heads of Houses, instead of moderating and 
sobering it, with the authority of instructed and 
sagacious rulers, blew it into a flame. And they 
acted in such a hurry that all sense of proportion and 
dignity was lost. They peremptorily refused to wait 
even a few days, as the writer requested, and as was 
due to his character, for explanation. They dared 
not risk an appeal to the University at large. They 
dared not abide the effect of discussion on the blow 
which they were urged to strike. They chose, that 


they might strike without delay, the inexpressibly 
childish step of sticking up at the Schools' gates, and 
at College butteries, without trial, or conviction, or 
sentence, a notice declaring that certain modes of 
signing the Articles suggested in a certain Tract were 
dishonest. It was, they said, to protect under- 
graduates ; as if undergraduates would be affected by 
a vague assertion on a difficult subject, about which 
nothing was more certain than that those who issued 
the notice were not agreed among themselves. 

The men who acted thus were good and conscien- 
tious men, who thought themselves in the presence 
of a great danger. It is only fair to remember this. 
But it is also impossible to be fair to the party of 
the movement without remembering this deplorable 
failure in consistency, in justice, in temper, in charity, 
on the part of those in power in the University. The 
drift towards Rome had not yet become an unmanage- 
able rush; and though there were cases in which 
nothing could have stopped its course, there is no 
reason to doubt that generous and equitable dealing, 
a more considerate reasonableness, a larger and more 
comprehensive judgment of facts, and a more patient 
waiting for strong first impressions to justify and 
verify themselves, would have averted much mischief. 
There was much that was to be regretted from this 
time forward in the temper and spirit of the move- 
ment party. But that which nourished and strength- 
ened impatience, exaggeration of language and views, 
scorn of things as they were, intolerance of everything 

xv AFTER NO. 90 309 

moderate, both in men and in words, was the 
consciousness with which every man got up in the 
morning and passed the day, of the bitter hostility 
of those foremost in place in Oxford — of their in- 
competence to judge fairly — of their incapacity to 
apprehend what was high and earnest in those whom 
they condemned — of the impossibility of getting them 
to imagine that Tractarians could be anything but 
fools or traitors — of their hopeless blindness to any 
fact or any teaching to which they were not 
accustomed. If the authorities could only have 
stopped to consider whether after all they were not 
dealing with real thought and real wish to do right, 
they might after all have disliked the movement, but 
they would have seen that which would have kept 
them from violence. They would not listen, they 
would not inquire, they would not consider. Could 
such ignorance, could such wrong possibly be without 
mischievous influence on those who were the victims 
of it, much more on friends and disciples who knew 
and loved them ? The Tractarians had been 
preaching that the Church of England, with all its 
Protestant feeling and all its Protestant acts and 
history, was yet, as it professed to be, part and parcel 
of the great historic Catholic Church, which had 
framed the Creeds, which had continued the Sacra- 
ments, which had preached and taught out of the 
Bible, which had given us our immemorial prayers. 
They had spared no pains to make out this great 
commonplace from history and theology : nor had 


they spared pains, while insisting on this dominant 
feature in the English Church, to draw strongly and 
broadly the lines which distinguished it from Rome. 
Was it wonderful, when all guarding and explanatory 
limitations were contemptuously tossed aside by " all- 
daring ignorance," and all was lumped together in the 
indiscriminate charge of "Romanising," that there 
should have been some to take the authorities at their 
word ? Was it wonderful when men were told that 
the Church of England was no place for them, that 
they were breaking their vows and violating solemn 
engagements by acting as its ministers, and that in 
order to preserve the respect of honest men they 
should leave it — that the question of change, far off 
as it had once seemed, came within " measurable 
distance"? The generation to which they belonged 
had been brought up with strong exhortations to be 
real, and to hate shams ; and now the question was 
forced on them whether it was not a sham for the 
English Church to call itself Catholic ; whether a 
body of teaching which was denounced by its 
authorities, however it might look on paper and be 
defended by learning, could be more than a plausible 
literary hypothesis in contrast to the great working 
system of which the head was Rome. When we 
consider the singular and anomalous position on any 
theory, including the Roman, of the English Church ; 
with what great differences its various features and 
elements have been prominent at different times ; 
how largely its history has been marked by contra- 


AFTER NO. 90 311 

dictory facts and appearances ; and how hard it is for 
any one to keep all, according to their real importance, 
simultaneously in view ; when we remember also 
what are the temptations of human nature in great 
collisions of religious belief, the excitement and 
passion of the time, the mixed character of all 
religious zeal, the natural inevitable anger which 
accompanies it when resisted, the fervour which 
welcomes self-sacrifice for the truth ; and when we 
think of all this kept aglow by the continuous 
provocation of unfair and harsh dealing from persons 
who were scarcely entitled to be severe judges ; the 
wonder is, human nature being what it is, not that so 
many went, but that so many stayed. 



The year 1841, though it had begun in storm, and 
though signs were not wanting of further disturbance, 
was at Oxford, outwardly at least, a peaceable one. 
A great change had happened; but, when the first 
burst of excitement was over, men settled down to 
their usual work, their lectures, or their reading, or 
their parishes, and by Easter things seemed to go on 
as before. The ordinary habits of University life 
resumed their course with a curious quietness. There 
was, no doubt, much trouble brooding underneath. 
Mr.. Ward and others continued a war of pamphlets ; 
and in June Mr. Ward was dismissed from his 
Mathematical Lectureship at Balliol. But faith in 
the great leader was still strong. No. 90, if it had 
shocked or disquieted some, had elicited equally 
remarkable expressions of confidence and sympathy 
from others who might have been, at least, silent. 
The events of the spring had made men conscious of 

chap, xvi THE THREE DEFEATS 313 

what their leader was, and called forth warm and 
enthusiastic affection. It was not in vain that, 
whatever might be thought of the wisdom or the 
reasonings of No. 90, he had shown the height of his 
character and the purity and greatness of his religious 
purpose ; and that being what he was, in the eyes of 
all Oxford, he had been treated with contumely, and 
had borne it with patience and loyal submission. 
There were keen observers, to whom that patience 
told of future dangers ; they would have liked him to 
show more fight. But he gave no signs of defeat, 
nor, outwardly, of disquiet ; he forbore to retaliate at 
Oxford : and the sermons at St. Mary's continued, 
penetrating and searching as ever, perhaps with 
something more pathetic and anxious in their under- 
tone than before. 

But if he forbore at Oxford, he did not let things 
pass outside. Sir Robert Peel, in opening a reading- 
room at Tamworth, had spoken loosely, in the con- 
ventional and pompous way then fashionable, of the 
all -sufficing and exclusive blessings of knowledge. 
While Mr. Newman was correcting the proofs of No. 
90, he was also writing to the Times the famous 
letters of Catholicus ; a warning to eminent public 
men of the danger of declaiming on popular common- 
places without due examination of their worth. But 
all seemed quiet. " In the summer of 1841," we read 
in the Apologia, " I found myself at Littlemore with- 
out any harass or anxiety on my mind. I had deter- 
mined to put aside all controversy, and set myself 


down to my translation of St. Athanasius." Outside 
of Oxford there was a gathering of friends in the 
summer at the consecration of one of Mr. Keble's 
district churches, Ampfield — an occasion less com- 
mon and more noticeable then than now. Again, 
what was a new thought then, a little band of young 
Oxford men, ten or twelve, taxed themselves to build 
a new church, which was ultimately placed at Bussage, 
in Mr. Thomas Keble's parish. One of Mr. Keble's 
curates, Mr. Peter Young, had been refused Priest's 
orders by the Bishop of Winchester, for alleged un- 
soundness on the doctrine of the Eucharist. Mr. 
Selwyn, not without misgivings on the part of the 
Whig powers, had been appointed Bishop of New 
Zealand. Dr. Arnold had been appointed to the 
Chair of Modern History at Oxford. In the course 
of the year there passed away one who had had a 
very real though unacknowledged influence on much 
that had happened — Mr. Blanco White. And at the 
end of the year, 29th October, Mr. Keble gave his 
last lecture on Poetry, and finished a course the most 
original and memorable ever delivered from his 

Towards the end of the year two incidents, besides 
some roughly- worded Episcopal charges, disturbed 
this quiet. They were only indirectly connected with 
theological controversy at Oxford ; but they had great 
ultimate influence on it, and they helped to marshal 
parties and consolidate animosities. One was the 
beginning of the contest for the Poetry Professorship 


which Mr. Keble had vacated. There was no one of 
equal eminence to succeed him ; but there was in 
Oxford a man of undoubted poetical genius, of refined 
taste and subtle thought, though of unequal power, 
who had devoted his gifts to the same great purpose 
for which Mr. Keble had written the Christian Year. 
No one who has looked into the Baptistery, whatever 
his feeling towards the writer, can doubt whether Mr. 
Isaac Williams was a poet and knew what poetry 
meant. He was an intimate friend of Mr. Keble and 
Mr. Newman, and so he was styled a Tractarian ; but 
no name offered itself so obviously to the electors as 
his, and in due time his friends announced their 
intention of bringing him forward. His competitor 
was Mr. (afterwards Archdeacon) Garbett of Brase- 
nose, the college of Heber and Milman, an accom- 
plished gentleman of high culture, believed to have 
an acquaintance, not common then in Oxford, with 
foreign literature, whose qualifications stood high in 
the opinion of his University friends, but who had 
given no evidence to the public of his claims to the 
office. It was inevitable, it was no one's special fault, 
that the question of theological opinions should 
intrude itself; but at first it was only in private that 
objections were raised or candidatures recommended 
on theological grounds. But rumours were abroad 
that the authorities of Brasenose were canvassing 
their college on these grounds : and in an unlucky 
moment for Mr. Williams, Dr. Pusey, not without the 
knowledge, but without the assenting judgment of 


Mr. Newman, thought it well to send forth a circular 
in Christ Church first, but soon with wider publicity, 
asking support for Mr. Williams as a person whose 
known religious views would ensure his making his 
office minister to religious truth. Nothing could be 
more innocently meant. It was the highest purpose 
to which that office could be devoted. But the 
mistake was seen on all sides as soon as made. The 
Principal of Mr. Garbett's college, Dr. Gilbert, like a 
general jumping on his antagonist whom he has 
caught in the act of a false move, put forth a digni- 
fied counter-appeal, alleging that he had not raised 
this issue, but adding that as it had been raised and 
avowed on the other side, he was quite willing that it 
should be taken into account, and the dangers duly 
considered of that teaching with which Dr. Pusey's 
letter had identified Mr. Williams. No one from 
that moment could prevent the contest from becom- 
ing almost entirely a theological one, which was to 
try the strength of the party of the movement. 
Attempts were made, but in vain, to divest it of 
this character. The war of pamphlets and leaflets 
dispersed in the common-rooms, which usually accom- 
panied these contests, began, and the year closed with 
preparations for a severe struggle when the University 
met in the following January. 

The other matter was the establishment of the 
Anglo-Prussian bishopric at Jerusalem. It was the 
object of the ambition of M. Bunsen to pave the 
way for a recognition, by the English Church, of the 


new State Church of Prussia, and ultimately for some 
closer alliance between the two bodies ; and the plan 
of a Protestant Bishop of Jerusalem, nominated alter- 
nately by England and Prussia, consecrated by English 
Bishops, and exercising jurisdiction over English and 
German Protestants in Palestine, was proposed by 
him to Archbishop Howley and Bishop Blomfield, 
and somewhat hastily and incautiously accepted by 
them. To Mr. Newman, fighting a hard battle, as he 
felt it, for the historical and constitutional catholicity 
of the English Church, this step on their part came 
as a practical and even ostentatious contradiction of 
his arguments. England, it seemed, which was out 
of communion with the East and with Rome, could 
lightly enter into close communion with Lutherans 
and Calvinists against them both. He recorded an 
indignant and even bitter protest ; and though the 
scheme had its warm apologists, such as Dr. Hook 
and Mr. F. Maurice, it had its keen-sighted critics, 
and it was never received with favour by the Church 
at large. And, indeed, it was only active for mischief. 
It created irritation, suspicion, discord in England, 
while no German cared a straw about it. Never was 
an ambitious scheme so marked by impotence and 
failure from its first steps to its last. But it was one, 
as the Apologia informs us, 1 in the chain of events 
which destroyed Mr. Newman's belief in the English 
Church. " It was one of the blows," he writes, 
" which broke me." 

1 Pp. 243, 253. 


The next year, 1842, opened with war; war be- 
tween the University authorities and the party of the 
movement, which was to continue in various forms 
and with little intermission till the strange and pathetic 
events of 1845 suspended the fighting and stunned 
the fighters, and for a time hushed even anger in 
feelings of amazement, sorrow, and fear. Those events 
imposed stillness on all who had taken part in the 
strife, like the blowing up of the Orient at the battle 
of the Nile. 

As soon as the University met in January 1842, 
the contest for the Poetry Professorship was settled. 
There was no meeting of Convocation, but a com- 
parison of votes gave a majority of three to two to Mr. 
Garbett, 1 and Mr. Williams withdrew. The Tract- 
arians had been distinctly beaten ; it was their first 
defeat as a party. It seems as if this encouraged the 
Hebdomadal Board to a move, which would be felt 
as a blow against the Tractarians, and which, as an 
act of reparation to Dr. Hampden, would give satis- 
faction to the ablest section of their own supporters, 
the theological Liberals. They proposed to repeal 
the disqualification which had been imposed on Dr. 
Hampden in 1836. But they had miscalculated. It 
was too evidently a move to take advantage of the 
recent Tractarian discomfiture to whitewash Dr. 
Hampden's Liberalism. The proposal, and the way 
in which it was made, roused a strong feeling among 
the residents ; a request to withdraw it received the 

1 Garbett, 921. Williams, 623. 


signatures not only of moderate Anglicans and in- 
dependent men, like Mr. Francis Faber of Magdalen, 
Mr. Sewell, the Greswells, and Air. W. Palmer of 
Worcester, but of Air. Tait of Balliol, and Mr. 
Golightly. Dr. Hampden's own attitude did not 
help it. There was great want of dignity in his 
ostentatious profession of orthodoxy and attachment 
to the Articles, in his emphatic adoption of Evangelical 
phraseology, and in his unmeasured denunciation of 
his opponents, and especially of those whom he 
viewed as most responsible for the censure of 1836 — 
the " Tractarians " or " Romanisers." And the diffi- 
culty with those who had passed and who now proposed 
to withdraw the censure, was that Dr. Hampden 
persistently and loudly declared that he had nothing 
to retract, and retracted nothing ; and if it was right 
to pass it in 1836, it would not be right to withdraw 
it in 1842. At the last moment, Mr. Tait and Air. 
Piers Claughton of University made an attempt to 
get something from Dr. Hampden which might pass 
as a withdrawal of what was supposed to be dangerous 
in his Bampton Lectures ; and there were some even 
among Mr. Newman's friends, who, disliking from 
the first the form of the censure, might have found in 
such a withdrawal a reason for voting for its repeal. 
But Dr. Hampden was obdurate. The measure was 
pressed, and in June it was thrown out in Convocation 
by a majority of three to two l — the same proportion, 
though in smaller numbers, as in the vote against Air. 
1 The numbers were 334 to 219. 


Williams. The measure was not an honest one on 
the part of the Hebdomadal Board, and deserved to be 
defeated. Among the pamphlets which the discus- 
sion produced, two by Mr. James Mozley gave early 
evidence, by their force of statement and their 
trenchant logic, of the power with which he was 
to take part in the questions which agitated the 

Dr. Hampden took his revenge, and it was not a 
noble one. The fellows of certain colleges were 
obliged to proceed to the B.D. degree on pain of 
forfeiting their fellowships. The exercises for the 
degree, which, by the Statutes, took the old-fashioned 
shape of formal Latin disputations between Opponents 
and Respondents on given theses in the Divinity 
School, had by an arrangement introduced by Dr. 
Burton, with no authority from the Statutes, come 
to consist of two English essays on subjects chosen 
by the candidate and approved by the Divinity Pro- 
fessor. The exercises for the degree had long ceased 
to be looked upon as very serious matters, and 
certainly were never regarded as tests of the sound- 
ness of the candidate's faith. They were usually on 
well-worn commonplaces, of which the Regius Pro- 
fessor kept a stock, and about which no one troubled 
himself but the person who wanted the degree. It 
was not a creditable system, but it was of a piece 
with the prevalent absence of any serious examination 
for the superior degrees. It would have been quite 
befitting his position, if Dr. Hampden had called the 


attention of the authorities to the evil of sham exer- 
cises for degrees in his own important Faculty. It 
would have been quite right to make a vigorous effort 
on public grounds to turn these sham trials into 
realities ; to use them, like the examination for the 
B.A. degree, as tests of knowledge and competent 
ability. Such a move on his part would have been 
in harmony with the legislation which had recently 
added two theological Professors to the Faculty, and 
had sketched out, however imperfectly, the outlines 
of a revived theological school. 

This is what, with good reason, Dr. Hampden 
might have attempted on general grounds, and had 
he been successful (though this in the suspicious state 
of University feeling was not very likely) he would 
have gained in a regular and lawful way that power 
of embarrassing his opponents which he was resolved 
to use in defiance of all existing custom. But such 
was not the course which he chose. Mr. Macmullen 
of Corpus, who, in pursuance of the College Statutes, 
had to proceed to the B.D. degree, applied, as the 
custom was, for theses to the Professor. Mr. Mac- 
mullen was known to hold the opinions of the move- 
ment school ; of course he was called a Tractarian ; 
he had put his name to some of the many papers 
which expressed the sentiments of his friends on 
current events. Dr. Hampden sent him two proposi- 
tions, which the candidate was to support, framed so 
as to commit him to assertions which Mr. Macmullen, 
whose high Anglican opinions were well known, could 



not consistently make. It was a novel and unex- 
ampled act on the part of the Professor, to turn what 
had been a mere formal exercise into a sharp and 
sweeping test of doctrine, which would place all future 
Divinity degrees in the University at his mercy ; and 
the case was made more serious, when the very form 
of exercise which the Professor used as an instrument 
of such formidable power was itself without question 
unstatutable and illegal, and had been simply connived 
at by the authorities. To introduce by his own 
authority a new feature into a system which he had 
no business to use at all, and to do this for the first 
time with the manifest purpose of annoying an 
obnoxious individual, was, on Dr. Hampden's part, 
to do more to discredit his chair and himself, than 
the censure of the University could do ; and it was 
as unwise as it was unworthy. The strength of his 
own case before the public w r as that he could be made 
to appear as the victim of a personal and partisan 
attack; yet on the first opportunity he acts in the 
spirit of an inquisitor, and that not in fair conflict 
with some one worthy of his hostility, but to wreak an 
injury, in a matter of private interest, on an individual, 
in no way known to him or opposed to him, except as 
holding certain unpopular opinions. 

Mr. Macmullen was not the person to take such 
treatment quietly. The right was substantially on his 
side, and the Professor, and the University authorities 
who more or less played into the hands of the Pro- 
fessor, in defence of his illegal and ultimately unten- 


able claims, appeared before the University, the one 
as a persecutor, the others as rulers who were afraid 
to do justice on behalf of an ill-used man because 
he was a Tractarian. The right course was perfectly 
clear. It was to put an end to these unauthorised 
exercises, and to recall both candidates and Professor 
to the statutable system which imposed disputations 
conducted under the moderatorship of the Professor, 
but which gave him no veto, at the time, on the theo- 
logical sufficiency of the disputations, leaving him to 
state his objections, if he was not satisfied, when the 
candidate's degree was asked for in the House of 
Congregation. This course, after some hesitation, 
was followed, but only partially; and without allow- 
ing or disallowing the Professor's claim to a veto, the 
Vice-Chancellor on his own responsibility stopped the 
degree. A vexatious dispute lingered on for two or 
three years, with actions in the Vice -Chancellor's 
Court, and distinguished lawyers to plead for each 
side, and appeals to the University Court of Dele- 
gates, who reversed the decision of the Vice-Chan- 
cellor's assessor. Somehow or other, Mr. Macmullen 
at last got his degree, but at the cost of a great deal 
of ill-blood in Oxford, for which Dr. Hampden, by 
his unwarranted interference, and the University 
authorities, by their questionable devices to save the 
credit and claims of one of their own body, must be 
held mainly responsible. 

Before the matter was ended, they were made to 
feel, in rather a startling way, how greatly they had 


lost the confidence of the University. One of the 
attempts to find a way out of the tangle of the dispute 
was the introduction, in February 1844, of a Statute 
which should give to the Professor the power which 
was now contested, and practically place all the 
Divinity degrees under the control of a Board in con- 
junction with the Vice-Chancellor. 1 The proposed 
legislation raised such indignation in the University, 
that the Hebdomadal Board took back their scheme 
for further revision, and introduced it again in a 
modified shape, which still however gave new powers 
to the Professor and the Vice-Chancellor. But the 
University would have none of it. No one could say 
that the defeat of the altered Statute by 341 to 21 was 
the work merely of a party. 2 It was the most decisive 
vote given in the course of these conflicts. And it 
was observed that on the same day Mr. Macmullen's 
degree was vetoed by the Vice-Chancellor at the 
instance of Dr. Hampden at 10 o'clock in Congrega- 
tion, and the Hebdomadal Board, which had sup- 
ported him, received the vote of want of confidence 
at noon in Convocation. 

Nothing could show more decisively that the 
authorities in the Hebdomadal Board were out of 
touch with the feeling of the University, or, at all 
events, of that part of it which was resident. The 
residents were not, as a body, identified with the 
Tractarians ; it would be more true to say that the 

1 Christian Remembrancer, vol. IX. p. 175. 
2 Ibid. pp. 177-179. 


residents, as a body, looked on this marked school 
with misgiving and apprehension ; but they saw what 
manner of men these Tractarians were; they lived 
with them in college and common-room ; their be- 
haviour was before their brethren as a whole, with its 
strength and its weakness, its moral elevation and its 
hazardous excitement, its sincerity of purpose and its 
one-sidedness of judgment and sympathy, its unfair- 
ness to what was English, its over-value for what was 
foreign. Types of those who looked at things more 
or less independently were Mr. Hussey of Christ 
Church, Mr. C. P. Eden of Oriel, Mr. Sewell of 
Exeter, Mr. Francis Faber of Magdalen, Dr. Green- 
hill of Trinity, Mr. Wall of Balliol, Mr. Hobhouse of 
Merton, with some of the more consistent Liberals, 
like Mr. Stanley of University, and latterly Mr. Tait. 
Men of this kind, men of high character and weight 
in Oxford, found much to dislike and regret in the 
Tractarians. But they could also see that the leaders 
of the Hebdomadal Board laboured under a fatal 
incapacity to recognise what these unpopular Tract- 
arians were doing for the cause of true and deep 
religion ; they could see that the judgment of the 
Heads of Houses, living as they did apart, in a kind 
of superior state, was narrow, ill-informed, and harsh, 
and that the warfare which they waged was petty, irri- 
tating, and profitless ; while they also saw with great 
clearness that under cover of suppressing " Puseyism," 
the policy of the Board was, in fact, tending to increase 
and strengthen the power of an irresponsible and 


incompetent oligarchy, not only over a troublesome 
party, but over the whole body of residents. To the 
great honour of Oxford it must be said, that through- 
out these trying times, on to the very end, there was 
in the body of Masters a spirit of fairness, a recog- 
nition of the force both of argument and character, a 
dislike of high-handedness and shabbiness, which was 
in strong and painful contrast to the short-sighted 
violence in which the Hebdomadal Board was un- 
happily induced to put their trust, and which proved 
at last the main cause of the overthrow of their power. 
When changes began to threaten Oxford, there was no 
one to say a word for them. 

But, for the moment, in spite of this defeat in Con- 
vocation, they had no misgivings as to the wisdom of 
their course or the force of their authority. There 
was, no doubt, much urging from outside, both on 
political and theological grounds, to make them use 
their power to stay the plague of Tractarianism ; and 
they were led by three able and resolute men, un- 
fortunately unable to understand the moral or the 
intellectual character of the movement, and having 
the highest dislike and disdain for it in both aspects 
— Dr. Hawkins, Provost of Oriel, the last remaining 
disciple of Whately's school, a man of rigid con- 
scientiousness, and very genuine though undemon- 
strative piety, of great kindliness in private life, of 
keen and alert intellect, but not of breadth and know- 
ledge proportionate to his intellectual power ; Dr. 
Symons, Warden of Wadham, a courageous witness 


for Evangelical divinity in the days when Evangelicals 
were not in fashion in Oxford, a man of ponderous 
and pedantic learning and considerable practical acute- 
ness ; and Dr. Cardwell, Principal of St. Alban's Hall, 
more a man of the world than his colleagues, with 
considerable knowledge of portions of English Church 
history. Under the inspiration of these chiefs, the 
authorities had adopted, as far as they could, the 
policy of combat; and the Vice-Chancellor of the 
time, Dr. Wynter of St. John's, a kind-hearted man, 
but quite unfit to moderate among the strong wills 
and fierce tempers round him, was induced to single 
out for the severest blow yet struck, the most dis- 
tinguished person in the ranks of the movement, Dr. 
Pusey himself. 

Dr. Pusey was a person with whom it was not wise 
to meddle, unless his assailants could make out a 
case without a flaw. He was without question the 
most venerated person in Oxford. Without an equal, 
in Oxford at least, in the depth and range of his 
learning, he stood out yet more impressively among 
his fellows in the lofty moral elevation and simplicity 
of his life, the blamelessness of his youth, and the 
profound devotion of his manhood, to which the 
family sorrows of his later years, and the habits which 
grew out of them, added a kind of pathetic and 
solemn interest. Stern and severe in his teaching at 
one time, — at least as he was understood, — beyond 
even the severity of Puritanism, he was yet overflow- 
ing with affection, tender and sympathetic to all who 


came near him, and, in the midst of continual con- 
troversy, he endeavoured, with deep conscientious- 
ness, to avoid the bitternesses of controversy. He 
was the last man to attack ; much more the last man 
to be unfair to. The men who ruled in Oxford con- 
trived, in attacking him, to make almost every mistake 
which it was possible to make. 

On the 24th of May 1843 Dr. Pusey, intending to 
balance and complement the severer, and, to many, 
the disquieting aspects of doctrine in his work on 
Baptism, preached on the Holy Eucharist as a comfort 
to the penitent. He spoke of it as a disciple of 
Andrewes and Bramhall would speak of it ; it was a 
high Anglican sermon, full, after the example of the 
Homilies, Jeremy Taylor, and devotional writers like 
George Herbert and Bishop Ken, of the fervid lan- 
guage of the Fathers ; and that was all. Beyond 
this it did not go; its phraseology was strictly within 
Anglican limits. In the course of the week that 
followed, the University was surprised by the 
announcement that Dr. Faussett, the Margaret Pro- 
fessor of Divinity, had "delated" the sermon to the 
Vice-Chancellor as teaching heresy ; and even more 
surprised at the news that the Vice-Chancellor had 
commenced proceedings. The Statutes provided 
that when a sermon was complained of, or delated to 
the Vice - Chancellor, the Vice - Chancellor should 
demand a copy of the sermon, and summoning to 
him as his assessors Six Doctors of Divinity, should 
examine the language complained of, and, if neces- 


sary, condemn and punish the preacher. The Statute 
is thus drawn up in general terms, and prescribes 
nothing as to the mode in which the examination 
into the alleged offence is to be carried on ; that is, 
it leaves it to the Vice-Chancellor's discretion. What 
happened was this. The sermon was asked for, but 
the name of the accuser was not given ; the Statute 
did not enjoin it. The sermon was sent, with a 
request from Dr. Pusey that he might have a hearing. 
The Six Doctors were appointed, five of them being 
Dr. Hawkins, Dr. Symons, Dr. Jenkyns, Dr. Ogilvie, 
Dr. Jelf ; the Statute said the Regius Professor was, 
if possible, to be one of the number; as he was 
under the ban of a special Statute, he was spared the 
task, and his place w r as taken by the next Divinity 
Professor, Dr. Faussett, the person who had preferred 
the charge, and who was thus, from having been 
accuser, promoted to be a judge. To Dr. Pusey's 
request for a hearing, no answer was returned ; the 
Statute, no doubt, said nothing of a hearing. But 
after the deliberations of the judges were concluded, 
and after the dejision to condemn the sermon had 
been reached, one of them, Dr. Pusey's old friend, 
Dr. Jelf, was privately charged with certain com- 
munications from the Vice-Chancellor, on which the 
seal of absolute secrecy was imposed, and which, 
in fact, we believe, have never been divulged from 
that day to this. Whatever passed between the 
Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Jelf, and Dr. Pusey, it had no 
effect in arresting the sentence ; and it came out, in 


informal ways, and through Dr. Pusey himself, that 
on the 2d of June Dr. Pusey had been accused and 
condemned for having taught doctrine contrary to 
that of the Church of England, and that by the 
authority of the Vice-Chancellor he was suspended 
from preaching within the University for two years. 
But no formal notification of the transaction was ever 
made to the University. 

The summary suppression of erroneous and dan- 
gerous teaching had long been a recognised part of 
the University discipline; and with the ideas then 
accepted of the religious character of the University, 
it was natural that some such power as that given in 
the Statutes should be provided. The power, even 
after all the changes in Oxford, exists still, and has 
been recently appealed to. Dr. Pusey, as a member 
of the University, had no more right than any other 
preacher to complain of his doctrine being thus 
solemnly called in question. But it is strange that 
it should not have occurred to the authorities that, 
under the conditions of modern times, and against a 
man like Dr. Pusey, such power should be warily 
used. For it was not only arbitrary power, such as 
was exerted in the condemnation of No. 90, but it 
was arbitrary power acting under the semblance of 
a judicial inquiry, with accusers, examination, trial, 
judges, and a heavy penalty. The act of a court 
of justice which sets at defiance the rules of justice is 
a very different thing from a straightforward act of 
arbitrary power, because it pretends to be what it is 


not. The information against Dr. Pusey, if accepted, 
involved a trial — that was the fixed condition and 
point of departure from which there was no escaping 
— and if a trial be held, then, if it be not a fair trial, 
the proceeding becomes, according to English notions, 
a flagrant and cowardly wrong. All this, all the 
intrinsic injustice, all the scandal and discredit in the 
eyes of honest men, was forgotten in the obstinate 
and blind confidence in the letter of a vague Statute. 
The accused was not allowed to defend or explain 
himself; he was refused the knowledge of the definite 
charges against him ; he was refused, in spite of his 
earnest entreaties, a hearing, even an appearance in 
the presence of his judges. The Statute, it was said, 
enjoined none of these things. The name of his 
accuser was not told him ; he was left to learn it by 
report. To the end of the business all was wrought 
in secrecy ; no one knows to this day how the ex- 
amination of the sermon was conducted, or what 
were the opinions of the judges. The Statute, it 
was said, neither enjoined nor implied publicity. To 
this day no one knows what were the definite pass- 
ages, what was the express or necessarily involved 
heresy or contradiction of the formularies, on which 
the condemnation was based; nor — except on the 
supposition of gross ignorance of English divinity on 
the part of the judges — is it easy for a reader to put 
his finger on the probably incriminated passages. 
To make the proceedings still more unlike ordinary 
public justice, informal and private communications 


were carried on between the judge and the accused, 
in which the accused was bound to absolute silence, 
and forbidden to consult his nearest friends. 

And of the judges what can be said but that they 
were, with one exception, the foremost and sternest 
opponents of all that was identified with Dr. Pusey's 
name ; and that one of them was the colleague who 
had volunteered to accuse him? Dr. Faussett's 
share in the matter is intelligible ; hating the move- 
ment in all its parts, he struck with the vehemence of 
a mediaeval zealot. But that men like Dr. Hawkins and 
Dr. Ogilvie, one of them reputed to be a theologian, 
the other one of the shrewdest and most cautious 
of men, and in ordinary matters one of the most con- 
scientious and fairest, should not have seen what 
justice, or at least the show of justice, demanded, 
and what the refusal of that demand would look like, 
and that they should have persuaded the Vice-Chan- 
cellor to accept the entire responsibility of haughtily 
refusing it, is, even to those who remember the excite- 
ment of those days, a subject of wonder. The plea was 
actually put forth that such opportunities of defence 
of his language and teaching as Dr. Pusey asked for 
would have led to the " inconvenience " of an intermin- 
able debate, and confronting of texts and authorities. 1 
The fact, with Dr. Pusey as the accused person, is 
likely enough ; but in a criminal charge with a heavy 
penalty, it would have been better for the reputation 
of the judges to have submitted to the inconvenience. 

1 Cf. British Critic, No. xlvii. pp. 221-223. 


It was a great injustice and a great blunder — a 
blunder, because the gratuitous defiance of accepted 
rules of fairness neutralised whatever there might seem 
to be of boldness and strength in the blow. They 
were afraid to meet Dr. Pusey face to face. They 
were afraid to publish the reasons of their condem- 
nation. The effect on the University, both on resident 
and non-resident members, was not to be misunder- 
stood. The Protestantism of the Vice-Chancellor and 
the Six Doctors was, of course, extolled by partisans 
in the press with reckless ignorance and reckless con- 
tempt at once for common justice and their own 
consistency. One person of some distinction at 
Oxford ventured to make himself the mouthpiece of 
those who were bold enough to defend the proceeding 
— the recently-elected Professor of Poetry, Mr. Garbett. 
But deep offence was given among the wiser and more 
reasonable men who had a regard for the character of 
the University. A request to know the grounds of 
the sentence from men who were certainly of no party 
was curtly refused by the Vice- Chancellor, with a 
suggestion that it did not concern them. A more 
important memorial was sent from London, showing 
how persons at a distance were shocked by the un- 
accountable indifference to the appearance of justice 
in the proceeding. It was signed among others by 
Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Justice Coleridge. The 
Vice-Chancellor lost his temper. He sent back the 
memorial to London " by the hands of his bedel," as 
if that in some way stamped his official disapprobation 


more than if it had been returned through the post. 
And he proceeded, in language wonderful even for 
that moment, as "Resident Governor" of the Uni- 
versity, to reprimand statesmen and lawyers of emi- 
nence and high character, not merely for presuming 
to interfere with his own duties, but for forgetting the 
oaths on the strength of which they had received their 
degrees, and for coining very near to that high, almost 
highest, academical crime, the crime of being perturb- 
atores pads — breaking the peace of the University. 

Such foolishness, affecting dignity, only made more 
to talk of. If the men who ruled the University had 
wished to disgust and alienate the Masters of Arts, 
and especially the younger ones who were coming 
forward into power and influence, they could not have 
done better. The chronic jealousy and distrust of 
the time were deepened. And all this was aggravated 
by what went on in private. A system of espionage, 
whisperings, backbitings, and miserable tittle-tattle, 
sometimes of the most slanderous or the most ridicu- 
lous kind, was set going all over Oxford. Never in 
Oxford, before or since, were busybodies more trucu- 
lent or more unscrupulous. Difficulties arose between 
Heads of Colleges and their tutors. Candidates for 
fellowships were closely examined as to their opinions 
and their associates. Men applying for testimonials 
were cross-questioned on No. 90, as to the infallibility 
of general councils, purgatory, the worship of images, 
the Ora pro nobis, and the intercession of the saints : 
the real critical questions upon which men's minds 


were. working being absolutely uncomprehended and 
ignored. It was a miserable state of misunderstand- 
ing and distrust, and none of the University leaders 
had the temper and the manliness to endeavour with 
justice and knowledge to get to the bottom of it. It 
was enough to suppose that a Popish Conspiracy was 
being carried on. 



If only the Oxford authorities could have had patience 
— if only they could have known more largely and 
more truly the deep changes that were at work every- 
where, and how things were beginning to look in the 
eyes of the generation that was coming, perhaps many 
things might have been different. Yes, it was true 
that there was a strong current setting towards Rome. 
It was acting on some of the most vigorous of the 
younger men. It was acting powerfully on the fore- 
most mind in Oxford. Whither, if not arrested, it 
was carrying them was clear, but as yet it was by no 
means clear at what rate ; and time, and thought, and 
being left alone and dealt with justly, have a great 
effect on men's minds. Extravagance, disproportion, 
mischievous, dangerous exaggeration, in much that 
was said and taught — all this might have settled 
down, as so many things are in the habit of settling 
down, into reasonable and practical shapes, after a 
first burst of crudeness and strain — as, in fact, it did 

CHAP, xvii W. G. WARD 337 

settle down at last. For Anglicanism itself was not 
Roman ; friends and foes said it was not, to reproach 
as well as to defend it. It was not Roman in Dr. 
Pusey, though he was not afraid to acknowledge what 
was good in Rome. It was not Roman in Mr. Keble 
and his friends, in Dr. Moberly of Winchester, and the 
Barters. It was not Roman in Mr. Isaac Williams, 
Mr. Copeland, and Mr. Woodgate, each of them a 
centre of influence in Oxford and the country. It 
was not Roman in the devoted Charles Marriott, or 
in Isaac Williams's able and learned pupil, Mr. Arthur 
Haddan. It was not Roman in Mr. James Mozley, 
after Mr. Newman, the most forcible and impressive 
of the Oxford writers. A distinctively English party 
grew up, both in Oxford and away from it, strong in 
eminent names, in proportion as Roman sympathies 
showed themselves. These men were, in any fair 
judgment, as free from Romanising as any of their 
accusers ; but they made their appeal for patience 
and fair judgment in vain. If only the rulers could 
have had patience : — but patience is a difficult virtue 
in the presence of what seem pressing dangers. Their 
policy was wrong, stupid, unjust, pernicious. It was 
a deplorable mistake, and all will wish now that the 
discredit of it did not rest on the history of Oxford. 
And yet it was the mistake of upright and conscien- 
tious men. 

Doubtless there was danger ; the danger was that 
a number of men would certainly not acquiesce much 
longer in Anglicanism, while the Heads continued 


absolutely blind to what was really in these men's 
thoughts. For the Heads could not conceive the 
attraction which the Roman Church had for a religious 
man ; they talked in the old-fashioned way about the 
absurdity of the Roman system. They could not 
understand how reasonable men could turn Roman 
Catholics. They accounted for it by supposing a silly 
hankering after the pomp or the frippery of Roman 
Catholic worship, and at best a craving after the 
romantic and sentimental. Their thoughts dwelt 
continually on image worship and the adoration of 
saints. But what really was astir was something much 
deeper — something much more akin to the new and 
strong forces which were beginning to act in very 
different directions from this in English society — 
forces which were not only leading minds to Rome, 
but making men Utilitarians, Rationalists, Positivists, 
and, though the word had not yet been coined, Ag- 
nostics. The men who doubted about the English 
Church saw in Rome a strong, logical, consistent 
theory of religion, not of yesterday nor to-day — not 
only comprehensive and profound, but actually in 
full work, and fruitful in great results ; and this, in 
contrast to the alleged and undeniable anomalies 
and shortcomings of Protestantism and Anglicanism. 
And next, there was the immense amount which they 
saw in Rome of self-denial and self-devotion ; the 
surrender of home and family in the clergy ; the great 
organised ministry of women in works of mercy ; the 
resolute abandonment of the world and its attractions 


W. G. WAED 339 

in the religious life. If in England there flourished 
the homely and modest types of goodness, it was in 
Rome that, at that day at least, men must look for 
the heroic. They were not indisposed to the idea that 
a true Church which had lost all this might yet regain 
it, and they were willing to wait and see what the 
English Church would do to recover what it had lost ; 
but there was obviously a long way to make up, and 
they came to think that there was no chance of its 
overtaking its true position. Of course they knew all 
that was so loudly urged about the abuses and mis- 
chiefs growing out of the professed severity of Rome. 
They knew that in spite of it foreign society was lax ; 
that the discipline of the confessional was often exer- 
cised with a light rein. But if the good side of it 
was real, they easily accounted for the bad : the bad 
did not destroy, it was a tacit witness to the good. 
And they knew the Latin Church mainly from France, 
where it was more in earnest, and exhibited more 
moral life and intellectual activity, than, as far as 
Englishmen knew, in Italy or Spain. There was a 
strong rebound from insular ignorance and unfairness, 
when English travellers came on the poorly-paid but 
often intelligent and hard-working French clergy ; on 
the great works of mercy in the towns ; on the origin- 
ality and eloquence of De Maistre, La Mennais, 
Lacordaire, Montalembert. 

These ideas took possession of a remarkable mind, 
the index and organ of a remarkable character. Mr. 
\V. G. Ward had learned the interest of earnest re- 


ligion from Dr. Arnold, in part through his close friend 
Arthur Stanley. But if there was ever any tendency 
in him to combine with the peculiar elements of the 
Rugby School, it was interrupted in t its nascent state, 
as chemists speak, by the intervention of a still more 
potent affinity, the personality of Mr. Newman. Mr. 
Ward had developed in the Oxford Union, and in a 
wide social circle of the most rising men of the time — 
including Tait, Cardwell, Lowe, Roundell Palmer — a 
very unusual dialectical skill and power of argumenta- 
tive statement : qualities which seemed to point to the 
House of Commons. But Mr. Newman's ideas gave 
him material, not only for argument but for thought. 
The lectures and sermons at St. Mary's subdued and 
led him captive. The impression produced on him 
was expressed in the formula that primitive Christianity 
might have been corrupted into Popery, but that Pro- 
testantism never could. 1 For a moment he hung in 
the wind. He might have been one of the earliest of 
Broad Churchmen. He might have been a Utilitarian 
and Necessitarian follower of Mr. J. S. Mill. But 
moral influences of a higher kind prevailed. And he 
became, in the most thoroughgoing yet independent 
fashion, a disciple of Mr. Newman. He brought to 
his new side a fresh power of controversial writing ; 
but his chief influence was a social one, from his bright 
and attractive conversation, his bold and startling 
candour, his frank, not to say reckless, fearlessness of 
consequences, his unrivalled skill in logical fence, his 

1 Cf. T. Mozley, Re?niniscences, vol. ii. p. 5. 

xvn W. G. WAED 341 

unfailing good-humour and love of fun, in which his 
personal clumsiness set off the vivacity and nimble- 
ness of his joyous moods. " He was," says Mr. 
Mozley, "a great musical critic, knew all the operas, 
and was an admirable buffo singer." — No one could 
doubt that, having started, Mr. Ward would go far 
and probably go fast. 

Mr. Ward was well known in Oxford, and his 
language might have warned the Heads that if there 
was a drift towards Rome, it came from something 
much more serious than a hankering after a senti- 
mental ritual or mediaeval legends. In Mr. Ward's 
writings in the British Critic, as in his conversation — 
and he wrote much and at great length — three ideas 
were manifestly at the bottom of his attraction to 
Rome. One was that Rome did, and, he believed, 
nothing else did, keep up the continuous recognition 
of the supernatural element in religion, that conscious- 
ness of an ever-present power not of this world which 
is so prominent a feature in the New Testament, and 
which is spoken of there as a permanent and character- 
istic element in the Gospel dispensation. The Roman 
view of the nature and offices of the Church, of man's 
relations to the unseen world, of devotion, of the 
Eucharist and of the Sacraments in general, assumed 
and put forward this supernatural aspect ; other 
systems ignored it or made it mean nothing, unless 
in secret to the individual and converted soul. In 
the next place he revolted — no weaker word can be 
used — from the popular exhibition in England, more 


or less Lutheran and Calvinistic, of the doctrine 
of justification. The ostentatious separation of justi- 
fication from morality, with all its theological refine- 
ments and fictions, seemed to him profoundly un- 
scriptural, profoundly unreal and hollow, or else 
profoundly immoral. In conscience and moral honesty 
and strict obedience he saw the only safe and trust- 
worthy guidance in regard to the choice and formation 
of religious opinions ; it was a principle on which all 
his philosophy was built, that " careful and individual 
moral discipline is the only possible basis on which 
Christian faith and practice can be reared." In the 
third place he was greatly affected, not merely by the 
paramount place of sanctity in the Roman theology 
and the professed Roman system, but by the standard 
of saintliness which he found there, involving complete 
and heroic self-sacrifice for great religious ends, com- 
plete abandonment of the world, painful and continuous 
self-discipline, purified and exalted religious affections, 
beside which English piety and goodness at its best, 
in such examples as George Herbert and Ken and 
Bishop Wilson, seemed unambitious and pale and tame, 
of a different order from the Roman, and less closely 
resembling what we read of in the first ages and in 
the New Testament. Whether such views were right 
or wrong, exaggerated or unbalanced, accurate or 
superficial, they were matters fit to interest grave 
men; but there is no reason to think that they made 
the slightest impression on the authorities of the 


W. G. WAKD 343 

On the other hand, Mr. Ward, with the greatest 
good-humour, was unreservedly defiant and aggressive. 
There was something intolerably provoking in his 
mixture of jauntiness and seriousness, his avowal of 
utter personal unworthiness and his undoubting cer- 
tainty of being in the right, his downright charges 
of heresy and his ungrudging readiness to make 
allowance for the heretics and give them credit for 
special virtues greater than those of the orthodox. 
He was not a person to hide his own views or to 
let others hide theirs. He lived in an atmosphere of 
discussion with all around him, friends or opponents, 
fellows and tutors in common-rooms, undergraduates 
after lecture or out walking. The most amusing, the 
most tolerant man in Oxford, he had round him per- 
petually some of the cleverest and brightest scholars 
and thinkers of the place ; and where he was, there 
was debate, cross-questioning, pushing inferences, 
starting alarming problems, beating out ideas, trying 
the stuff and mettle of mental capacity. Not always 
with real knowledge, or a real sense of fact, but always 
rapid and impetuous, taking in the whole dialectical 
chess-board at a glance, he gave no quarter, and a 
man found himself in a perilous corner before he 
perceived the drift of the game ; but it was to clear his 
own thought, not — for he was much too good-natured 
— to embarrass another. If the old scholastic dis- 
putations had been still in use at Oxford, his triumphs 
would have been signal and memorable. His success, 
compared with that of other leaders of the movement, 


in influencing life and judgment, was a pre-eminently 
intellectual success ; and it cut two ways. The stress 
which he laid on the moral side of questions, his own 
generosity, his earnestness on behalf of fair play and 
good faith, elevated and purified intercourse. But he 
did not always win assent in proportion to his power of 
argument. Abstract reasoning, in matters with which 
human action is concerned, may be too absolute to be 
convincing. It may not leave sufficient margin for the 
play and interference of actual experience. And Mr. 
Ward, having perfect confidence in his conclusions, 
rather liked to leave them in a startling form, which 
he innocently declared to be manifest and inevitable. 
And so stories of Ward's audacity and paradoxes flew 
all over Oxford, shocking and perplexing grave heads 
with fear of they knew not what. Dr. Jenkyns, the 
Master of Balliol, one of those curious mixtures of 
pompous absurdity with genuine shrewdness which 
used to pass across the University stage, not clever 
himself but an unfailing judge of a clever man, as 
a jockey might be of a horse, liking Ward and proud 
of him for his cleverness, was aghast at his monstrous 
and unintelligible language, and driven half wild with 
it. Mr. Tait, a fellow-tutor, though living on terms of 
hearty friendship with Ward, prevailed on the Master 
after No. 90 to dismiss Ward from the office of teach- 
ing mathematics. It seemed a petty step thus to mix 
up theology with mathematics, though it was not so 
absurd as it looked, for Ward brought in theology 
everywhere, and discussed it when his mathematics 

xvn W. G. WARD 345 

were done. But Ward accepted it frankly and 
defended it. It was natural, he said, that Tait, think- 
ing his principles mischievous, should wish to silence 
him as a teacher; and their friendship remained 

Mr. Ward's theological position was really a pro- 
visional one, though, at starting at least, he would not 
have allowed it. He had no early or traditional 
attachment to the English Church, such as that which 
acted so strongly on the leaders of the movement : 
but he found himself a member of it, and Mr. New- 
man had interpreted it to him. He so accepted it, 
quite loyally and in earnest, as a point of departure. 
But he proceeded at once to put "our Church " (as 
he called it) on its trial, in comparison with its own 
professions, and with the ideal standard of a Church 
which he had thought out for himself; and this 
rapidly led to grave consequences. He accepted 
from authority which satisfied him both intellectually 
and morally the main scheme of Catholic theology, 
as the deepest and truest philosophy of religion, 
satisfying at once conscience and intellect. The 
Catholic theology gave him, among other things, the 
idea and the notes of the Church ; with these, in 
part at least, the English Church agreed ; but in 
other respects, and these very serious ones, it differed 
widely ; it seemed inconsistent and anomalous. The 
English Church was separate and isolated from 
Christendom. It was supposed to differ widely from 
other Churches in doctrine. It admitted variety of 


opinion and teaching, even to the point of tolerating 
alleged heresy. With such data as these, he entered 
on an investigation which ultimately came to the 
question whether the English Church could claim 
to be a part of the Church Catholic. He postulated 
from the first, what he afterwards developed in the 
book in which his Anglican position culminated, — the 
famous Idea^ — the existence at some time or another 
of a Catholic Church which not only aimed at, but 
fulfilled all the conditions of a perfect Church in 
creed, communion, discipline, and life. Of course 
the English and, as at starting he held, the Roman 
Church, fell far short of this perfection. But at 
starting, the moral which he drew was, not to leave 
the English Church, but to do his best to raise it up 
to what it ought to be. Whether he took in all the 
conditions of the problem, whether it was not far 
more complicated and difficult than he supposed, 
whether his knowledge of the facts of the case was 
accurate and adequate, whether he was always fair 
in his comparisons and judgments, and whether he 
did not overlook elements of the gravest importance 
in the inquiry ; whether, in fact, save for certain 
strong and broad lines common to the whole historic 
Church, the reign of anomaly, inconsistency, difficulty 
did not extend much farther over the whole field of 
debate than he chose to admit : all this is fairly open 
to question. But within the limits which he laid 
down, and within which he confined his reasonings, 
he used his materials with skill and force ; and even 


W. G. WARD 347 

those who least agreed with him and were most 
sensible of the strong and hardly disguised bias which 
so greatly affected the value of his judgments, could 
not deny the frankness and the desire to be fair and 
candid, with which, as far as intention went, he con- 
ducted his argument. His first appearance as a 
writer was in the controversy, as has been said before, 
on the subject of No. 90. That tract had made the 
well-worn distinction between what was Catholic and 
what was distinctively Roman, and had urged — what 
had been urged over and over again by English 
divines — that the Articles, in their condemnation of 
what was Roman, were drawn in such a way as to 
leave untouched what was unquestionably Catholic. 
They were drawn indeed by Protestants, but by men 
who also earnestly professed to hold with the old 
Catholic doctors and disavowed any purpose to de- 
part from their teaching, and who further had to meet 
the views and gain the assent of men who were much 
less Protestant than themselves — men who were will- 
ing to break with the Pope and condemn the abuses 
associated with his name, but by no means willing to 
break with the old theology. The Articles were the 
natural result of a compromise between two strong 
parties — the Catholics agreeing that the abuses should 
be condemned, so that the Catholic doctrine was not 
touched; the Protestants insisting that, so that the 
Catholic doctrine was not touched, the abuses of it 
should be denounced with great severity : that there 
should be no question about the condemnation of 


the abuses, and of the system which had maintained 
them. The Articles were undoubtedly anti-Roman ; 
that was obvious from the historical position of the 
English Church, which in a very real sense was anti- 
Roman ; but were they so anti-Roman as to exclude 
doctrines which English divines had over and over 
again maintained as Catholic and distinguished from 
Romanism, but which the popular opinion, at this 
time or that, identified therewith ? l With flagrant 
ignorance — ignorance of the history of thought and 
teaching in the English Church, ignorance far more 
inexcusable of the state of parties and their several 
notorious difficulties in relation to the various formu- 

1 In dealing with the Articles either as a test or as a text-book, 
this question was manifestly both an honest and a reasonable one. 
As a test, and therefore penal, they must be construed strictly ; 
like judicial decisions, they only ruled as much as was necessary, 
and in the wide field of theology confined themselves to the points 
at issue at the moment. And as a text-book for instruction, it was 
obvious that while on some points they were precise and clear, on 
others they were vague and imperfect. The first five Articles left 
no room for doubt. When the compilers came to the controversies 
of their day, for all their strong language, they left all kinds of 
questions unanswered. For instance, they actually left unnoticed 
the primacy, and much more the infallibility of the Pope. They 
condemned the "sacrifices of Masses" — did they condemn the 
ancient and universal doctrine of a Eucharistic sacrifice? They 
condemned the Romish doctrine of Purgatory, with its popular 
tenet of material fire — did that exclude every doctrine of purgation 
after death ? They condemned Transubstantiation — did they con- 
demn the Real Presence? They condemned a great popular 
system — did they condemn that of which it was a corruption and 
travesty? These questions could not be foreclosed, unless on the 
assumption that there was no doctrine on such points which could 
be called Catholic except the Roman. The inquiry was not new ; 
and divines so stoutly anti-Roman as Dr. Hook and Mr. W. 
Palmer of Worcester had answered it substantially in the same 
sense as Mr. Newman in No. 90. 

xvii W. G. WARD 349 

laries of the Church, it was maintained on the other 
side that the " Articles construed by themselves " 
left no doubt that they were not only anti- Roman 
but anti-Catholic, and that nothing but the grossest 
dishonesty and immorality could allow any doubt on 
the subject. 

Neither estimate was logical enough to satisfy Mr. 
Ward. The charge of insincerity, he retorted with 
great effect on those who made it : if words meant 
anything, the Ordination Service, the Visitation Ser- 
vice, and the Baptismal Service were far greater diffi- 
culties to Evangelicals, and to Latitudinarians like 
Whately and Hampden, than the words of any Article 
could be to Catholics ; and there was besides the tone 
of the whole Prayer Book, intelligible, congenial, on 
Catholic assumptions, and on no other. But as to 
the Articles themselves, he was indisposed to accept 
the defence made for them. He criticised indeed 
with acuteness and severity the attempt to make the 
loose language of many of them intolerant of primi- 
tive doctrine ; but he frankly accepted the allegation 
that apart from this or that explanation, their general 
look, as regards later controversies, was visibly against, 
not only Roman doctrines or Roman abuses, but that 
whole system of principles and mode of viewing 
religion which he called Catholic. They were, he 
said, patient of a Catholic meaning, but ambitious of 
a Protestant meaning ; whatever their logic was, their 
rhetoric was Protestant. It was just possible, but 
not more, for a Catholic to subscribe to them. But 


they were the creation and the legacy of a bad age, 
and though they had not extinguished Catholic teach- 
ing and Catholic belief in the English Church, they 
had been a serious hindrance to it, and a support to 
its opponents. 

This was going beyond the position of No. 90. 
No. 90 had made light of the difficulties of the Articles. 

That there are real difficulties to a Catholic Christian 
in the ecclesiastical position of our Church at this day, 
no one can deny ; but the statements of the Articles are 
not in the number. Our present scope is merely to 
show that, while our Prayer Book is acknowledged on 
all hands to be of Catholic origin, our Articles also — the 
offspring of an uncatholic age — are, through God's good 
providence, to say the least, not uncatholic, and may be 
subscribed by those who aim at being Catholic in heart 
and doctrine. 

Mr. Ward not only went beyond this position, but 
in the teeth of these statements ; and he gave a new 
aspect and new issues to the whole controversy. The 
Articles, to him, were a difficulty, which they were 
not to the writer of No. 90, or to Dr. Pusey, or to 
Mr. Keble. To him they were not only the "off- 
spring of an uncatholic age," but in themselves un- 
catholic ; and his answer to the charge of dishonest 
subscription was, not that the Articles " in their 
natural meaning are Catholic," l but that the system 
of the English Church is a compromise between what 

1 W. G. Ward, The Ideal of a Christian Church, p. 478. 


W. G. WARD 351 

is Catholic and what is Protestant, and that the Pro- 
testant parties in it are involved in even greater 
difficulties, in relation to subscription and use of its 
formularies, than the Catholic. He admitted that he 
did evade the spirit, but accepted the "statements of 
the Articles," maintaining that this was the intention 
of their original sanctioners. With characteristic bold- 
ness, inventing a phrase which has become famous, he 
wrote : " Our twelfth Article is as plain as words can 
make it on the Evangelical side ; of course I think its 
natural meaning may be explained away, for I sub- 
scribe it myself in a non-natural sense " : Y but he 
showed that Evangelicals, high church Anglicans, and 
Latitudinarians were equally obliged to have recourse 
to explanations, which to all but themselves were un- 

But he went a step beyond this. Hitherto the 
distinction had been uniformly insisted upon between 
what was Catholic and what was Roman ; between 
what was witnessed to by the primitive and the un- 
divided Church, and what had been developed beyond 
that in the Schools, and by the definitions and de- 
cisions of Rome, and in the enormous mass of its 
post-Reformation theology, at once so comprehensive, 
and so minute in application. This distinction was 
the foundation of what was, characteristically, Anglican 
theology, from Hooker downwards. This distinction, 
at least for all important purposes, Mr. Ward gradually 
gave up. It was to a certain degree recognised in his 
1 The Ideal, etc., p. 479. 


early controversy about No. 90 ; but it gradually grew 
fainter till at last it avowedly disappeared. The Angli- 
can writers had drawn their ideas and their inspiration 
from the Fathers ; the Fathers lived long ago, and the 
teaching drawn from them, however spiritual and lofty, 
wanted the modern look, and seemed to recognise in- 
sufficiently modern needs. The Roman applications 
of the same principles were definite and practical, and 
Mr. Ward's mind, essentially one of his own century, 
and little alive to what touched more imaginative and 
sensitive minds, turned at once to Roman sources for 
the interpretation of what was Catholic. In the British 
Critic, and still more in the remarkable volume in 
which his Oxford controversies culminated, the sub- 
stitution of Roman for the old conception of Catholic 
appears, and the absolute identification of Roman with 
Catholic. Roman authorities become more and more 
the measure and rule of what is Catholic. They 
belong to the present in a way in which the older 
fountains of teaching do not \ in the recognised teach- 
ing of the Latin Church, they have taken their place 
and superseded them. 

It was characteristic of Mr. Ward that his chief 
quarrel with the Articles was not about the Sacraments, 
not about their language on alleged Roman errors, but 
about the doctrine of grace, the relation of the soul of 
man to the law, the forgiveness, the holiness of God, 
— the doctrine, that is, in all its bearings, of justifica- 
tion. Mr. Newman had examined this doctrine and 
the various language held about it with great care, 

xvii W. G. WARD 353 

very firmly but very temperately, and had attempted 
to reconcile with each other all but the extreme 
Lutheran statements. It was, he said, among really 
religious men, a question of words. He had recog- 
nised the faulty state of things in the pre-Reformation 
Church, the faulty ideas about forgiveness, merit, 
grace, and works, from which the Protestant language 
was a reaction, natural, if often excessive ; and in the 
English authoritative form of this language, he had 
found nothing but what was perfectly capable of a 
sound and true meaning. From the first, Mr. Ward's 
judgment was far more severe than this. To him, 
the whole structure of the Articles on Justification and 
the doctrines connected with it seemed based on the 
Lutheran theory, and for this theory, as fundamentally 
and hopelessly immoral, he could not find words suffi- 
ciently expressive of detestation and loathing. For the 
basis of his own theory of religious knowledge was a 
moral basis ; men came to the knowledge of religious 
truth primarily not by the intellect, but by absolute 
and unfailing loyalty to conscience and moral light ; 
and a doctrine which separated faith from morality 
and holiness, which made man's highest good and his 
acceptance with God independent of what he was as 
a moral agent, which relegated the realities of moral 
discipline and goodness to a secondary and subordinate 
place, — as a mere sequel to follow, almost mechanically 
and of course, on an act or feeling which had nothing 
moral in it, — which substituted a fictitious and im- 
puted righteousness for an inherent and infused and 


real one, seemed to him to confound the eternal 
foundations of right and wrong, and to be a blas- 
phemy against all that was true and sacred in religion. 

Of the Lutheran doctrine 1 of justification, and the 
principle of private judgment, I have argued that, in their 
abstract nature and necessary tendency, they sink below 
atheism itself. ... A religious person who shall be 
sufficiently clear-headed to understand the meaning of 
words, is warranted in rejecting Lutheranism on the 
very same grounds which would induce him to reject 
atheism, viz. as being the contradiction of truths which 
he feels on most certain grounds to be first principles. 2 

There is nothing which he looks back on with so 
much satisfaction in his writings as on this, that he 
has "ventured to characterise that hateful and fearful 
type of Antichrist in terms not wholly inadequate to 
its prodigious demerits." 3 

1 It is curious, and characteristic of the unhistorical quality of 
Mr. Ward's mind, that his whole hostility should have been con- 
centrated on Luther and Lutheranism — on Luther, the enthusiastic, 
declamatory, unsystematic denouncer of practical abuses, with his 
strong attachments to portions of orthodoxy, rather than on Calvin, 
with his cold love of power, and the iron consistency and strength 
of his logical anti-Catholic system, which has really lived and 
moulded Protestantism, while Lutheranism as a religion has passed 
into countless different forms. Luther was to Calvin as Carlyle to 
J. S. Mill or Herbert Spencer ; he defied system. But Luther had 
burst into outrageous paradoxes, which fastened on Mr. Ward's 
imagination. — Yet outrageous language is not always the most 
dangerous. Nobody would really find a provocation to sin, or an 
excuse for it, in Luther's Pecca fortiler any more than in Escobar's 
ridiculous casuistry. There may be much more mischief in the 
delicate unrealities of a fashionable preacher, or in many a smooth 
sentimental treatise on the religious affections. 

8 The Ideal, etc., pp. 587, 305. 

a Ibid, p. 305. 

xvii W. G. WARD 355 

Mr. Ward had started with a very definite idea of 
the Church and of its notes and tests. It was obvious 
that the Anglican Church — and so, it was thought, 
the Roman — failed to satisfy these notes in their com- 
pleteness ; but it seemed, at least at first, to satisfy 
some of them, and to do this so remarkably, and in 
such strong contrast to other religious bodies, that in 
England at all events it seemed the true representa- 
tive and branch of the Church Catholic ; and the duty 
of adhering to it and serving it was fully recognised, 
even by those who most felt its apparent departure 
from the more Catholic principles and temper pre- 
served in many points by the Roman Church. From 
this point of view Mr. Ward avowedly began. But 
the position gradually gave way before his relentless 
and dissolving logic. The whole course of his writing 
in the British Critic may be said to have consisted in 
a prolonged and disparaging comparison of the English 
Church, in theory, in doctrine, in moral and devotional 
temper, in discipline of character, in education, in 
its public and authoritative tone in regard to social, 
political, and moral questions, and in the type and 
standard of its clergy, with those of the Catholic 
Church, which to him was represented by the mediaeval 
and later Roman Church. And in the general result, 
and in all important matters, the comparison became 
more and more fatally disadvantageous to the English 
Church. In the perplexing condition of Christendom, 
it had just enough good and promise to justify those 
who had been brought up in it remaining where they 


were, as long as they saw any prospect of improving 
it, and till they were driven out. That was a duty — 
uncomfortable and thankless as it was, and open to 
any amount of misconstruction and misrepresentation 
— which they owed to their brethren, and to the Lord 
of the Church. But it involved plain speaking and 
its consequences ; and Mr. Ward never shrank from 

Most people, looking back, would probably agree, 
whatever their general judgment on these matters, 
and whatever they may think of Mr. Ward's case, that 
he was, at the time at least, the most unpersuasive 
of writers. Considering his great acuteness, and the 
frequent originality of his remarks — considering, 
further, his moral earnestness, and the place which 
the moral aspects of things occupy in his thoughts, 
this is remarkable ; but so it is. In the first place, 
in dealing with these eventful questions, which came 
home with such awful force to thousands of awakened 
minds and consciences, full of hope and full of fear, 
there was an entire and ostentatious want of sympathy 
with all that was characteristically English in matters 
of religion. This arose partly from his deep dislike 
to habits, very marked in Englishmen, but not peculiar 
to them, of self-satisfaction and national self-glorifica- 
tion ; but it drove him into a welcoming of opposite 
foreign ways, of which he really knew little, except 
superficially. Next, his boundless confidence in the 
accuracy of his logical processes led him to habits of 
extreme and absolute statement, which to those who 

xvn W. G. WARD 357 

did not agree with him, and also to some who did, 
bore on their face the character of over -statement, 
exaggeration, extravagance, not redeemed by an occa- 
sional and somewhat ostentatious candour, often at the 
expense of his own side and in favour of opponents 
to whom he could afford to be frank. And further, 
while to the English Church he was merciless in the 
searching severity of his judgment, he seemed to be 
blind to the whole condition of things to which she, 
as well as her rival, had for the last three centuries 
been subjected, and in which she had played a part 
at least as important for Christian faith as that sus- 
tained by any portion of Christendom ; blind to all 
her special and characteristic excellences, where these 
did not fit the pattern of the continental types (obvi- 
ously, in countless instances, matters of national and 
local character and habits) ; blind to the enormous 
difficulties in which the political game of her Roman 
opponents had placed her; blind to the fact that, 
judged with the same adverse bias and prepossessions, 
the same unsparing rigour, the same refusal to give 
real weight to what was good, on the ground that it 
was mixed with something lower, the Roman Church 
would show just as much deflection from the ideal as 
the English. Indeed, he would have done a great 
service — people would have been far more disposed 
to attend to his really interesting, and, to English 
readers, novel, proofs of the moral and devotional 
character of the Roman popular discipline, if he had 
not been so unfair on the English : if he had not 


ignored the plain fact that just such a picture as he 
gave of the English Church, as failing in required 
notes, might be found of the Roman before the 
Reformation, say in the writings of Gerson, and in 
our own days in those of Rosmini. Mr. Ward, if any 
one, appealed to fair judgment ; and to this fair judg- 
ment he presented allegations on the face of them 
violent and monstrous. The English Church, accord- 
ing to him, was in the anomalous position of being 
" gifted with the power of dispensing sacramental 
grace," 1 and yet, at the same time, " wholly destitute 
of external notes, and wholly indefensible, as to her 
position, by external, historical, ecclesiastical argu- 
ments " : and he for his part declares, correcting Mr. 
Newman, who speaks of "outward notes as partly 
gone and partly going," that he is " wholly unable to 
discern the outward notes of which Mr. Newman 
speaks, during any part of the last three hundred 
years." He might as well have said at once that she 
did not exist, if the outward aspects of a Church — 
orders, creeds, sacraments, and, in some degree at 
any rate, preaching and witnessing for righteousness — 
are not some of the " outward notes " of a Church. 
" Should the pure light of the Gospel be ever restored 
to this benighted land" 2 he writes, at the beginning, 
as the last extract was written at the end, of his con- 
troversial career at Oxford. Is not such writing as if 
he wished to emulate in a reverse sense the folly and 
falsehood of those who spoke of English Protestants 

1 /deal, p. 286. 2 British Critic, October 1841, p. 340. 

xvir W. G. WARD 359 

having a monopoly of the Gospel ? He was unper- 
suasive, he irritated and repelled, in spite of his wish 
to be fair and candid, in spite of having so much to 
teach, in spite of such vigour of statement and argu- 
ment, because on the face of all his writings he was 
so extravagantly one-sided, so incapable of an equitable 
view, so much a slave to the unreality of extremes. 



No. 90, with the explanations of it given by Mr. 
Newman and the other leaders of the movement, 
might have raised an important and not very easy 
question, but one in no way different from the general 
character of the matters in debate in the theological 
controversy of the time. But No. 90, with the com- 
ments on it of Mr. Ward, was quite another matter, 
and finally broke up the party of the movement. It 
was one thing to show how much there is in common 
between England and Rome, and quite another to 
argue that there is no difference. Mr. Ward's refusal 
to allow a reasonable and a Catholic interpretation to 
the doctrine of the Articles on Justification, though 
such an understanding of it had not only been main- 
tained by Bishop Bull and the later orthodox divines, 
but was impressed on all the popular books of devo- 
tion, such as the Whole Duty of Man and Bishop 
W T ilson's Sacra Privata ; and along with this, the 
extreme claim to hold compatible with the Articles 


the "whole cycle of Roman doctrine," introduced 
entirely new conditions into the whole question. Non 
luce in fadera was the natural reflection of numbers 
of those who most sympathised with the Tractarian 
school. The English Church might have many short- 
comings and want many improvements ; but after all 
she had something to say for herself in her quarrel 
with Rome ; and the witness of experience for fifteen 
hundred years must be not merely qualified and cor- 
rected, but absolutely wiped out, if the allegation were 
to be accepted that Rome was blameless in all that 
quarrel, and had no part in bringing about the con- 
fusions of Christendom. And this contention was 
more and more enforced in Mr. Ward's articles in 
the British Critic — enforced, more effectively than by 
direct statement, by continual and passing assumption 
and implication. They were papers of considerable 
power and acuteness, and of great earnestness in their 
constant appeal to the moral criteria of truth ; though 
Mr. Ward was not then at his best as a writer, and 
they were in composition heavy, diffuse, monotonous, 
and wearisome. But the attitude of deep deprecia- 
tion, steady, systematic, unrelieved, in regard to that 
which ought, if acknowledged at all, to deserve the 
highest reverence among all things on earth, in regard 
to an institution which, with whatever faults, he him- 
self in words still recognised as the Church of God, 
was an indefensible and an unwholesome paradox. 
The analogy is a commonly accepted one between the 
Church and the family. How could any household 


go on in which there was at work an animus of un- 
ceasing and relentless, though possibly too just criti- 
cism, on its characteristic and perhaps serious faults ; 
and of comparisons, also possibly most just, with 
the better ways of other families ? It might be the 
honest desire of reform and improvement ; but charity, 
patience, equitableness, are virtues of men in society, 
as well as strict justice and the desire of improvement. 
In the case of the family, such action could only lead 
to daily misery and the wasting and dying out of home 
affections. In the case of a Church, it must come to 
the sundering of ties which ought no longer to bind. 
Mr. Ward all along insisted that there was no necessity 
for looking forward to such an event. He wished to 
raise, purify, reform the Church in which Providence 
had placed him ; utterly dissatisfied as he was with it, 
intellectually and morally, convinced more and more 
that it was wrong, dismally, fearfully wrong, it was his 
duty, he thought, to abide in it without looking to 
consequences ; but it was also his duty to shake the 
faith of any one he could in its present claims and 
working, and to hold up an incomparably purer model 
of truth and holiness. That his purpose was what he 
considered real reform, there is no reason to doubt, 
though he chose to shut his eyes to what must come 
of it. The position was an unnatural one, but he had 
great faith in his own well -fenced logical creations, 
and defied the objections of a homelier common sense. 
He was not content to wait in silence the slow and 
sad changes of old convictions, the painful decay and 


disappearance of long-cherished ties. His mind was 
too active, restless, unreserved. To the last he per- 
sisted in forcing on the world, professedly to influence 
it, really to defy it, the most violent assertions which 
he could formulate of the most paradoxical claims 
on friends and opponents which had ever been 

Mr. Ward's influence was felt also in another way ; 
though here it is not easy to measure the degree of 
its force. He was in the habit of appealing to Mr. 
Newman to pronounce on the soundness of his prin- 
ciples and inferences, with the view of getting Mr. 
Newman's sanction for them against more timid or 
more dissatisfied friends ; and he would come down 
with great glee on objectors to some new and startling 
position, with the reply, "Newman says so." Every 
one knows from the Apologia what was Mr. Newman's 
state of mind after 1841 — a state of perplexity, dis- 
tress, anxiety \ he was moving undoubtedly in one 
direction, but moving slowly, painfully, reluctantly, 
intermittently, with views sometimes clear, sometimes 
clouded, of that terribly complicated problem, the 
answer to which was full of such consequences to 
himself and to others. No one ever felt more keenly 
that it was no mere affair of dexterous or brilliant 
logic; if logic could have settled it, the question 
would never have arisen. But in this fevered state, 
with mind, soul, heart all torn and distracted by the 
tremendous responsibilities pressing on him, wishing 
above everything to be quiet, to be silent, at least not 


to speak except at his own times and when he saw 
the occasion, he had, besides bearing his own diffi- 
culties, to return off-hand and at the moment some 
response to questions which he had not framed, which 
he did not care for, on which he felt no call to pro- 
nounce, which he was not perhaps yet ready to face, 
and to answer which he must commit himself irrevoc- 
ably and publicly to more than he was prepared for. 
Every one is familiar with the proverbial distribution 
of parts in the asking and the answering of questions; 
but when the asker is no fool, but one of the sharpest- 
witted of mankind, asking with little consideration for 
the condition or the wishes of the answerer, with great 
power to force the answer he wants, and with no great 
tenderness in the use he makes of it, the situation 
becomes a trying one. Mr. Ward was continually 
forcing on Mr. Newman so-called irresistible infer- 
ences : " If you say so and so, surely you must also 
say something more ? " Avowedly ignorant of facts 
and depending for them on others, he was only con- 
cerned with logical consistency. And accordingly Mr. 
Newman, with whom producible logical consistency 
was indeed a great thing, but with whom it was very 
far from being everything, had continually to accept 
conclusions which he would rather have kept in 
abeyance, to make admissions which were used with- 
out their qualifications, to push on and sanction 
extreme ideas which he himself shrank from because 
they were extreme. But it was all over with his 
command of time, his liberty to make up his mind 


slowly on the great decision. He had to go at Mr. 
Ward's pace, and not his own. He had to take Mr. 
Ward's questions, not when he wanted to have them 
and at his own time, but at Mr. Ward's. No one 
can tell how much this state of things affected the 
working of Mr. Newman's mind in that pause of 
hesitation before the final step ; how far it accelerated 
the view which he ultimately took of his position. 
No one can tell, for many other influences were 
mixed up with this one. But there is no doubt that 
Mr. Newman felt the annoyance and the unfairness 
of tin's perpetual questioning for the benefit of Mr. 
Ward's theories, and there can be little doubt that, 
in effect, it drove him onwards and cut short his time 
of waiting. Engineers tell us that, in the case of a 
ship rolling in a sea-way, when the periodic times of 
the ship's roll coincide with those of the undulations 
of the waves, a condition of things arises highly 
dangerous to the ship's stability. So the agitations of 
Mr. Newman's mind were reinforced by the impulses 
of Mr. Ward's. 1 

But the great question between England and Rome 
was not the only matter which engaged Mr. Ward's 
active mind. In the course of his articles in the 
British Critic he endeavoured to develop in large 
outlines a philosophy of religious belief. Restless on 
all matters without a theory, he felt the need of a 

1 A pencilled note indicates that this illustration was suggested 
by experiments in naval engineering carried on at one time by Mr. 
W. Froude. Cf. T. Mozley, A'eminiscetices, vol. ii. p. 17. 


theory of the true method of reaching, verifying, and 
judging of religious truth ; it seemed to him necessary 
especially to a popular religion, such as Christianity 
claimed to be ; and it was not the least of the points 
on which he congratulated himself that he had worked 
out a view which extended greatly the province and 
office of conscience, and of fidelity to it, and greatly 
narrowed the province and office of the mere intellect 
in the case of the great mass of mankind. The 
Oxford writers had all along laid stress on the para- 
mount necessity of the single eye and disciplined 
heart in accepting or judging religion ; moral subjects 
could be only appreciated by moral experience j 
purity, reverence, humility were as essential in such 
questions as zeal, industry, truthfulness, honesty ; 
religious truth is a gift as well as a conquest ; and 
they dwelt on the great maxims of the New Testament : 
" To him that hath shall be given " ; " If any man 
will do the will of the Father, he shall know of the 
doctrine." But though Mr. Newman especially had 
thrown out deep and illuminating thoughts on this 
difficult question, it had not been treated system- 
atically ; and this treatment Mr. Ward attempted to 
give to it. It was a striking and powerful effort, full 
of keen insight into human experience and acute 
observations on its real laws and conditions ; but on 
the face of it, it was laboured and strained ; it chose 
its own ground, and passed unnoticed neighbouring 
regions under different conditions ; it left undealt 
with the infinite variety of circumstances, history, 


capacities, natural temperament, and those unexplored 
depths of will and character, affecting choice and 
judgment, the realities of which have been brought 
home to us by our later ethical literature. Up to a 
certain point his task was easy. It is easy to say that 
a bad life, a rebellious temper, a selfish spirit are 
hopeless disqualifications for judging spiritual things ; 
that we must take something for granted in learning 
any truths whatever; that men must act as moral 
creatures to attain insight into moral truths, to realise 
and grasp them as things, and not abstractions and 
words. But then came the questions — What is that 
moral training, which, in the case of the good heart, 
will be practically infallible in leading into truth? 
And what is that type of character, of saintliness, 
which gives authority which we cannot do wrong in 
following; where, if question and controversy arise, 
is the common measure binding on both sides ; and 
can even the saints, with their immense variations and 
apparent mixtures and failings, furnish that type? 
And next, where, in the investigations which may be 
endlessly diversified, does intellect properly come in 
and give its help ? For come in somewhere, of course 
it must ; and the conspicuous dominance of the 
intellectual element in Mr. Ward's treatment of the 
subject is palpable on the face of it. His attempt is 
to make out a theory of the reasonableness of unpro- 
ducible, because unanalysed, reasons ; reasons which, 
though the individual cannot state them, may be as 
real and as legitimately active as the obscure rays of 


the spectrum. But though the discussion in Mr. 
Ward's hands was suggestive of much, though he 
might expose the superciliousness of Whately or the 
shallowness of Mr. Goode, and show himself no 
unequal antagonist to Mr. J. S. Mill, it left great 
difficulties unanswered, and it had too much the 
appearance of being directed to a particular end, 
that of guarding the Catholic view of a popular 
religion from formidable objections. 

The moral side of religion had been from the first 
a prominent subject in the teaching of the movement. 
Its protests had been earnest and constant against 
intellectual self-sufficiency, and the notion that mere 
shrewdness and cleverness were competent judges of 
Christian truth, or that soundness of judgment in 
religious matters was compatible with arrogance or 
an imperfect moral standard ; and it revolted against 
the conventional and inconsistent severity of Puritan- 
ism, which was shocked at dancing but indulged 
freely in good dinners, and was ostentatious in 
using the phrases of spiritual life and in marking 
a separation from the world, while it surrounded 
itself with all the luxuries of modern inventiveness. 
But this moral teaching was confined to the state- 
ment of principles, and it was carried out in actual 
life with the utmost dislike of display and with a 
shrinking from strong professions. The motto of 
Froude's Remains, which embodied his characteristic 
temper, was an expression of the feeling of the 
school : 


Se sub serenis vultibus 
Austera virtus occulit : 
Timet videri, ne suum, 
Dum prodit, amittat decus. 1 

The heroic strictness and self-denial of the early 
Church were the objects of admiration, as what ought 
to be the standard of Christians ; but people did not 
yet like to talk much about attempts to copy them. 
Such a book as the Church of the Fathers brought 
out with great force and great sympathy the ascetic 
temper and the value put on celibacy in the early 
days, and it made a deep impression ■ but nothing 
was yet formulated as characteristic and accepted 

It was not unnatural that this should change. The 
principles exemplified in the high Christian lives 
of antiquity became concrete in definite rules and 
doctrines, and these rules and doctrines were most 
readily found in the forms in which the Roman schools 
and teachers had embodied them. The distinction 
between the secular life and the life of " religion," 
with all its consequences, became an accepted one. 
Celibacy came to be regarded as an obvious part of 
the self-sacrifice of a clergyman's life, and the belief 
and the profession of it formed a test, understood if 
not avowed, by which the more advanced or resolute 
members of the party were distinguished from the rest. 
This came home to men on the threshold of life 
with a keener and closer touch than questions about 

1 Hymn in Paris Breviary, Commune Sanctarum Mulierum. 
2 B 


doctrine. It was the subject of many a bitter, agonis- 
ing struggle which no one knew anything of; it was 
with many the act of a supreme self-oblation. The 
idea of the single life may be a utilitarian one as well 
as a religious one. It may be chosen with no thought 
of renunciation or self-denial, for the greater conveni- 
ence and freedom of the student or the philosopher, 
the soldier or the man of affairs. It may also be 
chosen without any special feeling of a sacrifice by 
the clergyman, as most helpful for his work. But the 
idea of celibacy, in those whom it affected at Oxford, 
was in the highest degree a religious and romantic 
one. The hold which it had on the leader of the 
movement made itself felt, though little was directly 
said. To shrink from it was a mark of want of strength 
or intelligence, of an unmanly preference for English 
home life, of insensibility to the generous devotion 
and purity of the saints. It cannot be doubted that 
at this period of the movement the power of this idea 
over imagination and conscience was one of the 
strongest forces in the direction of Rome. 

Of all these ideas Mr. Ward's articles in the Britisli 
Critic were the vigorous and unintermittent exposition. 
He spoke out, and without hesitation. There was a 
perpetual contrast implied, when it was not forcibly 
insisted on, between all that had usually been esteemed 
highest in the moral temper of the English Church, 
always closely connected with home life and much 
variety of character, and the loftier and bolder but 
narrower standard of Roman piety. And Mr. Ward 


was seconded in the British Critic by other writers, 
all fervid in the same cause, some able and eloquent. 
The most distinguished of his allies was Mr. Oakeley, 
Fellow of Balliol and minister of Margaret Chapel in 
London. Mr. Oakeley was, perhaps, the first to realise 
the capacities of the Anglican ritual for impressive 
devotional use, and his services, in spite of the dis- 
advantages of the time, and also of his chapel, are still 
remembered by some as having realised for them, in a 
way never since surpassed, the secrets and the con- 
solations of the worship of the Church. Mr. Oakeley, 
without much learning, was master of a facile and 
elegant pen. He was a man who followed a trusted 
leader with chivalrous boldness, and was not afraid 
of strengthening his statements. Without Mr. Ward's 
force and originality, his articles were more attractive 
reading. His article on "Jewel" was more than 
anything else a landmark in the progress of Roman 
ideas. 1 

From the time of Mr. Ward's connexion with the 
British Critic, its anti-Anglican articles had given rise 
to complaints which did not become less loud as time 
went on. He was a troublesome contributor to his 
editor, Mr. T. Mozley, and he made the hair of many 
of his readers stand on end with his denunciations of 
things English and eulogies of things Roman. 

My first troubles (writes Mr. Mozley) were with 
Oakeley and Ward. I will not say that I hesitated 

1 Reminiscences, ii. 243, 244. Cf. British Critic, July 1841. 


much as to the truth of what they wrote, for in that 
matter I was inclined to go very far, at least in the way 
of toleration. Yet it appeared to me quite impossible 
either that any great number of English Churchmen 
would ever go so far, or that the persons possessing 
authority in the Church would fail to protest, not to say 
more. ... As to Ward I did but touch a filament or 
two in one of his monstrous cobwebs, and off he ran 
instantly to Newman to complain of my gratuitous im- 
pertinence. Many years after I was forcibly reminded 
of him by a pretty group of a little Cupid flying to his 
mother to show a wasp -sting he had just received. 
Newman w 7 as then in this difficulty. He did not disagree 
with what Ward had written ; but, on the other hand, 
he had given neither me nor Ward to understand that 
he was likely to step in between us. In fact, he wished 
to be entirely clear of the editorship. This, however, 
was a thing that Ward could not or would not under- 
stand. 1 

The discontent of readers of the British Critic was 
great. It was expressed in various ways, and was 
represented by a pamphlet of Mr. W. Palmer's of 
Worcester, in w hich he contrasted, with words of severe 
condemnation, the later writers in the Review with 
the teaching of the earlier Tracts for the Times, and 
denounced the " Romanising " tendency shown in its 
articles. In the autumn of 1843 the Review came to 
an end. A field of work was thus cut off from Mr. 
Ward. Full of the interest of the ideas which pos- 

1 Reminiscences, ii. 225. 


sessed him, always equipped and cheerfully ready for 
the argumentative encounter, and keenly relishing the 
ccrtaminis gaudia, he at once seized the occasion of 
Mr. Palmer's pamphlet to state what he considered 
his position, and to set himself right in the eyes of all 
fair and intelligent readers. He intended a long 
pamphlet. It gradually grew under his hands — he 
was not yet gifted with the power of compression and 
arrangement — into a volume of 600 pages : the famous 
Ideal of a Christian Church, considered in Co?nparison 
with Existing Practice, published in the summer of 


The Ideal is a ponderous and unattractive volume, 
ill arranged and rambling, which its style and other 
circumstances have caused to be almost forgotten. 
But there are interesting discussions in it which may 
still repay perusal for their own sakes. The object of 
the book was twofold. Starting with an " ideal " of 
what the Christian Church may be expected to be in 
its various relations to men, it assumes that the Roman 
Church, and only the Roman Church, satisfies the 
conditions of what a Church ought to be, and it argues 
in detail that the English Church, in spite of its profes- 
sions, utterly and absolutely fails to fulfil them. It is 
a plaidoirie against everything English, on the ground 
that it cannot be Catholic because it is not Roman. 
It was not consistent, for while the writer alleged that 
" our Church totally neglected her duties both as 
guardian of and witness to morality, and as witness 
and teacher of orthodoxy," yet he saw no difficulty in 


attributing the revival of Catholic truth to "the in- 
herent vitality and powers of our own Church." 1 But 
this was not the sting and provocation of the book. 
That lay in the developed claim, put forward by im- 
plication in Mr. Ward's previous writings, and now 
repeated in the broadest and most unqualified form, to 
hold his position in the English Church, avowing and 
teaching all Roman doctrine. 

We find (he exclaims), oh, most joyful, most wonder- 
ful, most unexpected sight ! we find the whole cycle of 
Roman doctrine gradually possessing numbers of English 
Churchmen. . . . Three years have passed since I said 
plainly that in subscribing the Articles I renounce no 
Roman doctrine ; yet I retain my fellowship which I 
hold on the tenure of subscription, and have received no 
ecclesiastical censure in any shape. 2 

There was much to learn from the book ; much 
that might bring home to the most loyal Churchman a 
sense of shortcomings, a burning desire for improve- 
ment ; much that might give every one a great deal to 
think about, on some of the deepest problems of the 
intellectual and religious life. But it could not be 
expected that such a challenge, in such sentences as 
these, should remain unnoticed. 

The book came out in the Long Vacation, and it 
was not till the University met in October that signs 
of storm began to appear. But before it broke an 
incident occurred which inflamed men's tempers. Dr. 
Wy nter's reign as Vice-Chancellor had come to a close, 

1 Ideal, p. 566. 2 Ibid. pp. 565-567. 


and the next person, according to the usual custom 
of succession, was Dr. Symons, Warden of Wadham. 
Dr. Symons had never concealed his strong hostility 
to the movement, and he had been one of Dr. Pusey's 
judges. The prospect of a partisan Vice-Chancellor, 
certainly very determined, and supposed not to be 
over - scrupulous, was alarming. The consent of 
Convocation to the Chancellor's nomination of his 
substitute had always been given in words, though 
no instance of its having been refused was known, 
at least in recent times. But a great jealousy about 
the rights of Convocation had been growing up under 
the late autocratic policy of the Heads, and there was 
a disposition to assert, and even to stretch these rights, 
a disposition not confined to the party of the move- 
ment. It was proposed to challenge Dr. Symons's 
nomination. Great doubts were felt and expressed 
about the wisdom of the proposal ; but at length 
opposition was resolved upon. The step was a 
warning to the Heads, who had been provoking 
enough ; but there was not enough to warrant such 
a violent departure from usage, and it was the act 
of exasperation rather than of wisdom. The blame 
for it must be shared between the few who fiercely 
urged it, and the many who disapproved and ac- 
quiesced. On the day of nomination, the scrutiny 
was allowed, salvd auctoritaie Cancettarii ; but Dr. 
Symons's opponents were completely defeated by 883 
to 183. It counted, not unreasonably, as a " Puseyite 


The attempt and its result made it certain that in 
the attack that was sure to come on Mr. Ward's book, 
he would meet with no mercy. As soon as term 
began the Board of Heads of Houses took up the 
matter ; they were earnestly exhorted to it by a letter 
of Archbishop Whately's, which was read at the 
Board. But they wanted no pressing, nor is it 
astonishing that they could not understand the claim 
to hold the " whole cycle " of Roman doctrine in the 
English Church. Mr. Ward's view was that he was 
loyally doing the best he could for " our Church," not 
only in showing up its heresies and faults, but in 
urging that the only remedy was wholesale submission 
to Rome. To the University authorities this was 
taking advantage of his position in the Church to 
assail and if possible destroy it. And to numbers of 
much more sober and moderate Churchmen, sym- 
pathisers with the general spirit of the movement, 
it was evident that Mr. Ward had long passed the 
point when tolerance could be fairly asked, consistently 
with any respect for the English Church, for such 
sweeping and paradoxical contradictions, by her own 
servants, of her claims and title. Mr. Ward's manner 
also, which, while it was serious enough in his writings, 
was easy and even jocular in social intercourse, left 
the impression, in reality a most unfair impression, 
that he was playing and amusing himself with these 
momentous questions. 

A Committee of the Board examined the book ; a 
number of startling propositions were with ease picked 


out, some preliminary skirmishing as to matters of form 
took place, and in December 1844 the Board announced 
that they proposed to submit to Convocation without 
delay three measures: — (1) to condemn Mr. Ward's 
book ; (2) to degrade Mr. Ward by depriving him of 
all his University degrees ; and (3) whereas the exist- 
ing Statutes gave the Vice-Chancellor power of calling 
on any member of the University at any time to prove 
his orthodoxy by subscribing the Articles, to add to 
this a declaration, to be henceforth made by the sub- 
scriber, that he took them in the sense in which " they 
were both first published and were now imposed by 
the University," with the penalty of expulsion against 
any one, lay or clerical, who thrice refused subscription 
with this declaration. 

As usual, the Board entirely mistook the temper of 
the University, and by their violence and want of 
judgment turned the best chance they ever had, of 
carrying the University with them, into what their 
blunders really made an ignominious defeat. If they 
had contented themselves with the condemnation, in 
almost any terms, of Mr. Ward's book, and even of 
its author, the condemnation would have been over- 
whelming. A certain number of men would have 
still stood by Mr. Ward, either from friendship or 
sympathy, or from independence of judgment, or 
from dislike of the policy of the Board; but they 
would have been greatly outnumbered. The degrada- 
tion — the Board did not venture on the logical con- 
sequence, expulsion — was a poor and even ridiculous 


measure of punishment ; to reduce Mr. Ward to an 
undergraduate in statu pupillari, and a commoner's 
short gown, was a thing to amuse rather than terrify. 
The personal punishment seemed unworthy when 
they dared not go farther, while to many the con- 
demnation of the book seemed penalty enough ; and 
the condemnation of the book by these voters was 
weakened by their refusal to carry it into personal 
disgrace and disadvantage. Still, if these two 
measures had stood by themselves, they could not 
have been resisted, and the triumph of the Board 
would have been a signal one. But they could not 
rest. They must needs attempt to put upon sub- 
scription, just when its difficulties were beginning to 
be felt, not by one party, but by all, an interpretation 
which set the University and Church in a flame. 
The cry, almost the shriek, arose that it was a new 
test, and a test which took for granted what certainly 
needed proof, that the sense in which the Articles 
were first understood and published was exactly the 
same as that in which the University now received 
and imposed them. It was in vain that explanations, 
assurances, protests, were proffered ; no new test, it 
was said, was thought of — the Board would never 
think of such a thing ; it was only something to 
ensure good faith and honesty. But it was utterly 
useless to contend against the storm. A test it was, 
and a new test no one would have. It was clear that, 
if the third proposal was pushed, it would endanger 
the votes about Mr. Ward. After some fruitless 


attempts at justification the Board had, in the course 
of a month, to recognise that it had made a great 
mistake. The condemnation of Mr. Ward was to 
come on, on the 13th of February ; and on the 23d 
of January the Vice-Chancellor, in giving notice of it, 
announced that the third proposal was withdrawn. 

It might have been thought that this was lesson 
enough to leave well alone. The Heads were sure of 
votes against Mr. Ward, more or less numerous ; they 
were sure of a victory which would be a severe blow, 
not only to Mr. Ward and his special followers, but 
to the Tractarian party with which he had been so 
closely connected. But those bitter and intemperate 
spirits which had so long led them wrong were not to 
be taught prudence even by their last experience. 
The mischief-makers were at work, flitting about the 
official lodgings at Wadham and Oriel. Could not 
something be done, even at this late hour, to make up 
for the loss of the test ? Could not something be 
done to disgrace a greater name than Mr. Ward's ? 
Could not the opportunity which was coming of 
rousing the feeling of the University against the dis- 
ciple be turned to account to drag forth his supposed 
master from his retirement and impunity, and brand 
the author of No. 90 with the public stigma — no 
longer this time of a Hebdomadal censure, but of 
a University condemnation ? The temptation was 
irresistible to a number of disappointed partisans — 
kindly, generous, good-natured men in private life, 
but implacable in their fierce fanaticism. In their 


impetuous vehemence they would not even stop to 
think what would be said of the conditions and cir- 
cumstances under which they pressed their point. 
On the 23d of January the Vice -Chancellor had 
withdrawn the test. On the 25th of January — those 
curious in coincidences may observe that it was the 
date of No. 90 in 1841 — a circular was issued invit- 
ing signatures for a requisition to the Board, asking 
them to propose, in the approaching Convocation of 
the 13th of February, a formal censure of the prin- 
ciples of No. 90. The invitation to sign was issued 
in the names of Dr. Faussett and Dr. Ellerton 
of Magdalen. It received between four and five 
hundred signatures, as far as was known ; but it was 
withheld by the Vice-Chancellor from the inspection 
of those who officially had a right to have it before 
them. On the 4th of February its prayer came 
before the Hebdomadal Board. The objection of 
haste — that not ten days intervened between this new 
and momentous proposal and the day of voting — was 
brushed aside. The members of the Board were mad 
enough not to see, not merely the odiousness of 
the course, but the aggravated odiousness of hurry. 
The proposal was voted by the majority, sans phrase. 
And they ventured, amid all the excitement and 
irritation of the moment, to offer for the sanction of 
the University a decree framed in the words of their 
own censure. 

The interval before the Convocation was short, 
but it was long enough for decisive opinions on the 


proposal of the Board to be formed and expressed. 
Leading men in London, Mr. Gladstone among them, 
were clear that it was an occasion for the exercise of 
the joint veto with which the Proctors were invested. 
The veto was intended, if for anything, to save the 
University from inconsiderate and hasty measures ; 
and seldom, except in revolutionary times, had so 
momentous and so unexpected a measure been urged 
on with such unseemly haste. The feeling of the 
younger Liberals, Mr. Stanley, Mr. Donkin, Mr. 
Jowett, Dr. Greenhill, was in the same direction. 
On the ioth of February the Proctors announced to 
the Board their intention to veto the third proposal. 
But of course the thing went forward. The Proctors 
were friends of Mr. Newman, and the Heads believed 
that this would counterbalance any effect from their 
act of authority. It is possible that the announce- 
ment may have been regarded as a mere menace, too 
audacious to be fulfilled. On the 13th of February, 
amid slush and snow, Convocation met in the Theatre. 
Mr. Ward asked leave to defend himself in English, 
and occupied one of the rostra, usually devoted to the 
recital of prize poems and essays. He spoke with 
vigour and ability, dividing his speech, and resting in 
the interval between the two portions in the rostrum. 1 
There was no other address, and the voting began. 
The first vote, the condemnation of the book, was 

1 It is part of the history of the time, that during those anxious 
days, Mr. Ward was engaged to be married. The engagement 
came to the knowledge of his friends, to their great astonishment 
and amusement, very soon after the events in the Theatre. 


carried by 777 to 386. The second, by a more 
evenly balanced division, 569 to 511. When the 
Vice-Chancellor put the third, the Proctors rose, and 
the senior Proctor, Mr. Guillemard of Trinity, stopped 
it in the words, Nobis procuratoribus non placet. 
Such a step, of course, only suspended the vote, and 
the year of office of these Proctors was nearly run. 
But they had expressed the feeling of those whom 
they represented. It was shown not only in a largely- 
signed address of thanks. All attempts to revive the 
decree at the expiration of their year of office failed. 
The wiser heads in the Hebdomadal Board recognised 
at last that they had better hold their hand. Mis- 
takes men may commit, and defeats they may undergo, 
and yet lose nothing that concerns their character for 
acting as men of a high standard ought to act. But 
in this case, mistakes and defeat were the least of 
what the Board brought on themselves. This was 
the last act of a long and deliberately pursued course 
of conduct ; and if it was the last, it was because it 
was the upshot and climax, and neither the University 
nor any one else would endure that it should go on 
any longer. The proposed attack on Mr. Newman 
betrayed how helpless they were, and to what paltry 
acts of worrying it was, in their judgment, right and 
judicious to condescend. It gave a measure of their 
statesmanship, wisdom, and good feeling in defending 
the interests of the Church ; and it made a very deep 
and lasting impression on all who were interested in 
the honour and welfare of Oxford. Men must have 


blinded themselves to the plainest effects of their 
own actions who could have laid themselves open to 
such a description of their conduct as is contained in 
the following extract from a paper of the time — a 
passage of which the indignant and pathetic under- 
tone reflected the indignation and the sympathy of 
hundreds of men of widely differing opinions. 

The vote is an answer to a cry — that cry is one of 
dishonesty, and this dishonesty the proposed resolution, 
as plainly as it dares to say anything, insinuates. On 
this part of the question, those who have ever been 
honoured by Mr. Newman's friendship must feel it dan- 
gerous to allow themselves thus to speak. And yet they 
must speak ; for no one else can appreciate it as truly as 
they do. When they see the person whom they have 
been accustomed to revere as few men are revered, 
whose labours, whose greatness, whose tenderness, 
whose singleness and holiness of purpose, they have 
been permitted to know intimately — not allowed even 
the poor privilege of satisfying, by silence and retire- 
ment — by the relinquishment of preferment, position, 
and influence — the persevering hostility of persons whom 
they cannot help comparing with him — not permitted 
even to submit in peace to those irregular censures, to 
which he seems to have been even morbidly alive, but 
dragged forth to suffer an oblique and tardy condemna- 
tion ; called again to account for matters now long ago 
accounted for; on which a judgment has been pronounced, 
which, whatever others may think of it, he at least has 
accepted as conclusive — when they contrast his merits, 
his submission, his treatment, which they see and know, 



with the merits, the bearing, the fortunes of those who 
are doggedly pursuing him, it does become very difficult 
to speak without sullying what it is a kind of pleasure to 
feel is his cause by using hard words, or betraying it by 
not using them. It is too difficult to speak, as ought 
to be spoken, of this ungenerous and gratuitous after- 
thought — too difficult to keep clear of what, at least, will 
be thought exaggeration ; too difficult to do justice to 
what they feel to be undoubtedly true ; and I will not 
attempt to say more than enough to mark an opinion 
which ought to be plainly avowed, as to the nature of 
this procedure. 1 

1 From a S/iort Appeal to Members of Convocation on the pro- 
posed Censure on No. 90. By Frederic Rogers, Fellow of Oriel. 
(Dated Saturday, 8th of February 1845.) 



The events of February were a great shock. The 
routine of Oxford had been broken as it had never 
been broken by the fiercest strifes before. Condemna- 
tions had been before passed on opinions, and even 
on persons. But to see an eminent man, of blameless 
life, a fellow of one of the first among the Colleges, 
solemnly deprived of his degree and all that the 
degree carried with it, and that on a charge in which 
bad faith and treachery were combined with alleged 
heresy, was a novel experience, where the kindnesses 
of daily companionship and social intercourse still 
asserted themselves as paramount to official ideas 
of position. And when, besides this, people realised 
what more had been attempted, and by how narrow a 
chance a still heavier blow had been averted from one 
towards whom so many hearts warmed, how narrowly 
a yoke had been escaped which would have seemed to 
subject all religious thought in the University to the 
caprice or the blind zeal of a partisan official, the sense 
2 c 


of relief was mixed with the still present memory of a 
desperate peril. And then came the question as to 
what was to come next. That the old policy of the 
Board would be revived and pursued when the end of 
the Proctors' year delivered it from their inconvenient 
presence, was soon understood to be out of the 
question. The very violence of the measures at- 
tempted had its reaction, which stopped anything 
further. The opponents of Tractarianism, Orthodox 
and Liberal, were for the moment gorged with their 
success. What men waited to see was the effect on 
the party of the movement ; how it would influence 
the advanced portion of it ; how it would influence the 
little company who had looked on in silence from their 
retirement at Littlemore. The more serious aspect of 
recent events was succeeded for the moment by a 
certain comic contrast, created by Mr. Ward's engage- 
ment to be married, which was announced within a 
week of his degradation, and which gave the common- 
rooms something to smile at after the strain and ex- 
citement of the scene in the Theatre. But that passed, 
and the graver outlook of the situation occupied men's 

There was a widespread feeling of insecurity. 
Friends did not know of friends, how their minds 
were working, how they might go. Anxious letters 
passed, the writers not daring to say too much, or 
reveal too much alarm. And yet there was still some 
hope that at least with the great leader matters were 
not desperate. To his own friends he gave warning ; 


he had already done so in a way to leave little to 
expect but at last to lose him ; he spoke of resigning 
his fellowship in October, though he wished to defer 
this till the following June ; but nothing final had 
been said publicly. Even at the last it was only 
anticipated by some that he would retire into lay 
communion. But that silence was awful and ominous. 
He showed no signs of being affected by what had 
passed in Oxford. He privately thanked the Proctors 
for saving him from what would have distressed him : 
but he made no comments on the measures them- 
selves. Still it could not but be a climax of everything 
as far as Oxford was concerned. And he was a man 
who saw signs in such events. 

It was inevitable that the events of the end of 1844 
and the beginning of 1845 should bring with them 
a great crisis in the development of religious opinion, 
in the relations of its different forms to one another, 
and further, in the thoughts of many minds as to their 
personal position, their duty, and their prospects. 
There had been such a crisis in 1841 at the publica- 
tion of No. 90. After the discussions which followed 
that tract, Anglican theology could never be quite the 
same that it had been before. It was made to feel 
the sense of some grave wants, which, however they 
might be supplied in the future, could no longer be 
unnoticed or uncared for. And individuals, amid the 
strife of tongues, had felt, some strongly and practically, 
but a much larger number dimly and reluctantly, the 
possibility, unwelcome to most, but not without interest 


to others, of having to face the strange and at one 
time inconceivable task of revising the very foundations 
of their religion. And such a revision had since that 
time been going on more or less actively in many 
minds ; in some cases with very decisive results. But 
after the explosion caused by Mr. Ward's book, a 
crisis of a much more grave and wide-reaching sort 
had arrived. To ordinary lookers-on it naturally 
seemed that a shattering and decisive blow had been 
struck at the Tractarian party and their cause ; struck, 
indeed, formally and officially, only at its extrava- 
gances, but struck, none the less, virtually, at the 
premisses which led to these extravagances, and at the 
party, which, while disapproving them, shrank, with 
whatever motives, — policy, generosity, or secret sym- 
pathy, — from joining in the condemnation of them. 
It was more than a defeat, it was a rout, in which 
they were driven and chased headlong from the field ; 
a wreck in which their boasts and hopes of the last 
few years met the fate which wise men had always 
anticipated. Oxford repudiated them. Their theories, 
their controversial successes, their learned arguments, 
their appeals to the imagination, all seemed to go 
down, and to be swept away like chaff, before the 
breath of straightforward common sense and honesty. 
Henceforth there was a badge affixed to them and 
all who belonged to them, a badge of suspicion and 
discredit, and even shame, which bade men beware of 
them, an overthrow under which it seemed wonderful 
that they could raise their heads or expect a hearing. 


It is true, that to those who looked below the surface, 
the overthrow might have seemed almost too showy 
and theatrical to be quite all that it was generally 
thought to be. There had been too much passion, 
and too little looking forward to the next steps, in the 
proceedings of the victors. There was too much 
blindness to weak points of their own position, too 
much forgetfulness of the wise generosity of cautious 
warfare. The victory was easy to win ; the next 
moment it was quite obvious that they did not know 
what to do with it, and were at their wits' end to 
understand what it meant. And the defeated party, 
though defeated signally and conspicuously in the 
sight of the Church and the country, had in it too 
large a proportion of the serious and able men of the 
University, with too clear and high a purpose, and 
too distinct a sense of the strength and reality of their 
ground, to be in as disadvantageous a condition as 
from a distance might be imagined. A closer view 
would have discovered how much sympathy there was 
for their objects and for their main principles in many 
who greatly disapproved of much in the recent course 
and tendency of the movement. It might have been 
seen how the unwise measures of the Heads had 
awakened convictions among many who were not 
naturally on their side, that it was necessary both 
on the ground of justice and policy to arrest all 
extreme measures, and to give a breathing time to 
the minority. Confidence in their prospects as a 
party might have been impaired in the Tractarians ; 


but confidence in their principles, confidence that they 
had rightly interpreted the spirit, the claims, and the 
duties of the English Church, confidence that devotion 
to its cause was the call of God, whatever might 
happen to their own fortunes, this confidence was 
unshaken by the catastrophe of February. 

But that crisis had another important result, not 
much noticed then, but one which made itself abund- 
antly evident in the times that followed. The decisive 
breach between the old parties in the Church, both 
Orthodox and Evangelical, and the new party of the 
movement, with the violent and apparently irretriev- 
able discomfiture of the latter as the rising force in 
Oxford, opened the way and cleared the ground for the 
formation and the power of a third school of opinion, 
which was to be the most formidable rival of the Tract- 
arians, and whose leaders were eventually to succeed 
where the Tractarians had failed, in becoming the 
masters and the reformers of the University. Liberal- 
ism had hitherto been represented in Oxford in forms 
which though respectable from intellectual vigour were 
unattractive, sometimes even repulsive. They were 
dry, cold, supercilious, critical ; they wanted enthusi- 
asm ; they were out of sympathy with religion and 
the religious temper and aims. They played, without 
knowing it, on the edge of the most dangerous ques- 
tions. The older Oxford Liberals were either intellectu- 
ally aristocratic, dissecting the inaccuracies or showing 
up the paralogisms of the current orthodoxy, or they 
were poor in character, Liberals from the zest of 


sneering and mocking at what was received and 
established, or from the convenience of getting rid of 
strict and troublesome rules of life. They patronised 
Dissenters ; they gave Whig votes ; they made free, 
in a mild way, with the pet conventions and prejudices 
of Tories and High Churchmen. There was nothing 
inspiring in them, however much men might respect 
their correct and sincere lives. But a younger set of 
men brought, mainly from Rugby and Arnold's teach- 
ing, a new kind of Liberalism. It was much bolder 
and more independent than the older forms, less in- 
clined to put up with the traditional, more searching 
and inquisitive in its methods, more suspicious and 
daring in its criticism j but it was much larger in its 
views and its sympathies, and, above all, it was imagin- 
ative, it was enthusiastic, and, without much of the 
devotional temper, it was penetrated by a sense of the 
reality and seriousness of religion. It saw greater 
hopes in the present and the future than the Tract- 
arians. It disliked their reverence for the past and 
the received as inconsistent with what seemed evidence 
of the providential order of great and fruitful change. 
It could not enter into their discipline of character, and 
shrank from it as antiquated, unnatural, and narrow. 
But these younger Liberals were interested in the 
Tractarian innovators, and, in a degree, sympathised 
with them as a party of movement who had had the 
courage to risk and sacrifice much for an unworldly 
end. And they felt that their own opportunity was 
come when all the parties which claimed to represent 


the orthodoxy of the English Church appeared to have 
broken for good with one another, and when their 
differences had thrown so much doubt and disparage- 
ment on so important and revered a symbol of ortho- 
doxy as the Thirty-nine Articles. They looked on 
partly with amusement, partly with serious anxiety, 
at the dispute; they discriminated with impartiality 
between the strong and the weak points in the argu- 
ments on both sides : and they enforced with the 
same impartiality on both of them the reasons, arising 
out of the difficulties in which each party was involved, 
for new and large measures, for a policy of forbearance 
and toleration. They inflicted on the beaten side, 
sometimes with more ingenuity than fairness, the 
lesson that the " wheel had come round full circle " 
with them ; that they were but reaping as they them- 
selves had sown: — but now that there seemed little 
more to fear from the Tractarians, the victorious 
authorities were the power which the Liberals had to 
keep in check. They used their influence, such as it 
was (and it was not then what it was afterwards), to 
protect the weaker party. It was a favourite boast of 
Dean Stanley's in after-times, that the intervention of 
the Liberals had saved the Tractarians from complete 
disaster. It is quite true that the younger Liberals 
disapproved the continuance of harsh measures, and 
some of them exerted themselves against such measures. 
They did so in many ways and for various reasons ; 
from consistency, from feelings of personal kindness, 
from a sense of justice, from a sense of interest — 


some in a frank and generous spirit, others with con- 
temptuous indifference. But the debt of the Tract- 
arians to their Liberal friends in 1845 was not so 
great as Dean Stanley, thinking of the Liberal party 
as what it had ultimately grown to be, supposed to be 
the case. The Liberals of his school were then still 
a little flock : a very distinguished and a very earnest 
set of men, but too young and too few as yet to hold 
the balance in such a contest. The Tractarians were 
saved by what they were and what they had done, 
and could do, themselves. But it is also true, that 
out of these feuds and discords, the Liberal party 
which was to be dominant in Oxford took its rise, 
soon to astonish old-fashioned Heads of Houses with 
new and deep forms of doubt more audacious than 
Tractarianism, and ultimately to overthrow not only 
the victorious authorities, but the ancient position of 
the Church, and to recast from top to bottom the 
institutions of the University. The 1 3th of February 
was not only the final defeat and conclusion of the 
first stage of the movement. It was the birthday of 
the modern Liberalism of Oxford. 

But it was also a crisis in the history of many lives. 
From that moment, the decision of a number of good 
and able men, who had once promised to be among 
the most valuable servants of the English Church, 
became clear. If it were doubtful before, in many 
cases, whether they would stay with her, the doubt 
existed no longer. It was now only a question of 
time when they would break the tie and renounce their 


old allegiance. In the bitter, and in many cases 
agonising struggle which they had gone through as to 
their duty to God and conscience, a sign seemed now 
to be given them which they could not mistake. They 
were invited, on one side, to come; they were told, 
sternly and scornfully, on the other, to go. They 
could no longer be accused of impatience if they 
brought their doubts to an end, and made up their 
minds that their call was to submit to the claims of 
Rome, that their place was in its communion. 

Yet there was a pause. It was no secret what 
was coming. But men lingered. It was not till the 
summer that the first drops of the storm began to fall. 
Then through the autumn and the next year, friends, 
whose names' and forms were familiar in Oxford, one 
by one disappeared and were lost to it. Fellowships, 
livings, curacies, intended careers, were given up. 
Mr. Ward went. Mr. Capes, who had long followed 
Mr. Ward's line, and had spent his private means to 
build a church near Bridgewater, went also. Mr. 
Oakeley resigned Margaret Chapel and went. Mr. 
Ambrose St. John, Mr. Coffin, Mr. Dalgaims, Mr. 
Faber, Mr. T. Meyrick, Mr. Albany Christie, Mr. R. 
Simpson of Oriel, were received in various places and 
various ways, and in the next year, Mr. J. S. North- 
cote, Mr. J. B. Morris, Mr. G. Ryder, Mr. David 
Lewis. On the 3d of October 1845 Mr. Newman 
requested the Provost of Oriel to remove his name 
from the books of the College and University, but 
without giving any reason. The 6th of October is 

xix THE OATASTllOrilE 395 

the date of the " Advertisement " to the work which 
had occupied Mr. Newman through the year — the 
Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. On 
the 8th he was, as he has told us in the Apologia, 
received by Father Dominic, the Passionist. To 
the "Advertisement" are subjoined the following 
words : 

Postscript. — Since the above was written the Author 
has joined the Catholic Church. It was his intention 
and wish to have carried his volume through the press 
before deciding finally on this step. But when he got 
some way in the printing, he recognised in himself a 
conviction of the truth of the conclusion, to which the 
discussion leads, so clear as to preclude further delibera- 
tion. Shortly afterwards circumstances gave him the 
opportunity of acting on it, and he felt that he had no 
warrant for refusing to act on it. 

So the reality of what had been so long and often 
so lightly talked about by those who dared it, pro- 
voked it, or hoped for it, had come indeed ; and a 
considerable portion of English society learned what 
it was to be novices in a religious system, hitherto 
not only alien and unknown, but dreaded, or else to 
have lost friends and relatives, who were suddenly 
transformed into severe and uncompromising oppo- 
nents, speaking in unfamiliar terms, and sharply 
estranged in sympathies and rules of life. Some of 
them, especially those who had caught the spirit of 
their leader, began life anew, took their position as 
humble learners in the Roman Schools, and made the 


most absolute sacrifice of a whole lifetime that a man 
can make. To others the change came and was 
accepted as an emancipation, not only from the bonds 
of Anglicanism, but from the obligations of orders 
and priestly vows and devotion. In some cases, 
where they were married, there was no help for it. 
But in almost all cases there was a great surrender of 
what English life has to offer to those brought up in 
it. Of the defeated party, those who remained had 
much to think about, between grief at the breaking of 
old ties, and the loss of dear friends, and perplexities 
about their own position. The anxiety, the sorrow at 
differing and parting, seem now almost extravagant 
and unintelligible. There are those who sneer at the 
"distress" of that time. There had not been the 
same suffering, the same estrangement, when Church- 
men turned dissenters, like Bulteel and Baptist Noel. 
But the movement had raised the whole scale of feel- 
ing about religious matters so high, the questions 
were felt to be so momentous, the stake and the issue 
so precious, the " Loss and Gain " so immense, that 
to differ on such subjects was the differing on the 
greatest things which men could differ about. But in 
a time of distress, of which few analogous situations in 
our days can give the measure, the leaders stood firm. 
Dr. Pusey, Mr. Keble, Mr. Marriott accepted, with 
unshaken faith in the cause of the English Church, 
the terrible separation. They submitted to the blow 
— submitted to the reproach of having been associates 
of those who had betrayed hopes and done so much 



mischief; submitted to the charge of inconsistency, 
insincerity, cowardice ; but they did not flinch. 
Their unshrinking attitude was a new point of de- 
parture for those who believed in the Catholic founda- 
tion of the English Church. 

Among those deeply affected by these changes, 
there were many who had been absolutely uninfluenced 
by the strong Roman current. They had recognised 
many good things in the Roman Church ; they were 
fully alive to many shortcomings in the English 
Church; but the possibility of submission to the 
Roman claims had never been a question with them. 
A typical example of such minds was Mr. Isaac 
Williams, a pupil of Mr. Keble, an intimate friend of 
Mr. Newman, a man of simple and saintly life, with 
heart and soul steeped in the ancient theology of 
undivided Christendom, and for that very reason 
untempted by the newer principles and fashions of 
Rome. There were numbers who thought like him ; 
but there were others also, who were forced in afresh 
upon themselves, and who had to ask themselves why 
they stayed, when a teacher, to whom they had looked 
up as they had to Mr. Newman, and into whose 
confidence they had been admitted, thought it his duty 
to go. With some the ultimate, though delayed, de- 
cision was to follow him. With others, the old and fair 
pr&judicium against the claims of Rome, which had 
always asserted itself even against the stringent logic of 
Mr. Ward and the deep and subtle ideas of Mr. New- 
man, became, when closed with, and tested face to face 


in the light of fact and history, the settled conviction 
of life. Some extracts from contemporary papers, 
real records of the private perplexities and troubles 
actually felt at the time, may illustrate what was 
passing in the minds of some whom knowledge and 
love of Mr. Newman failed to make his followers in 
his ultimate step. The first extract belongs to some 
years before, but it is part of the same train of think- 
ing. 1 

As to myself, I am getting into a very unsettled state 
as to aims and prospects. I mean that as things are 
going on, a man does not know where he is going to ; 
one cannot imagine what state of things to look forward 
to ; in what way, and under what circumstances, one's 
coming life — if it does come — is to be spent ; what is to 
become of one. I cannot at all imagine myself a con- 
vert ; but how am I likely, in the probable state of 
things, to be able to serve as an English clergyman ? 
Shall I ever get Priest's orders ? Shall I be able to 
continue always serving ? What is one's line to be ; 
what ought to be one's aims ; or can one have any ? 

The storm is not yet come : how it may come, and 
how soon it may blow over, and what it may leave 
behind, is doubtful ; but some sort of crisis, I think, 
must come before things settle. With the Bishops 
against us, and Puritanism aggressive, we may see 
strange things before the end. 

When the " storm " had at length come, though 
before its final violence, the same writer continues : 

1 Compare Mozley's Reminiscences, ii. 1-3. 


The present hopeless check and weight to our party 
— what has for the time absolutely crushed us — is the 
total loss of confidence arising from the strong tendency, 
no longer to be dissembled or explained away, among 
many of us to Rome. I see no chance of our recovery, 
or getting our heads above water from this, at least in 
England, for years to come. And it is a check which 
will one day be far greater than it is now. Under the 
circumstances — having not the most distant thought of 
leaving the English Church myself, and yet having no 
means of escaping the very natural suspicion of Roman- 
ising without giving up my best friends and the most 
saint-like men in England — how am I to view my posi- 
tion ? What am I witnessing to ? What, if need be, is 
one to suffer for ? A man has no leaning towards 
Rome, does not feel, as others do, the strength of her 
exclusive claims to allegiance, the perfection of her 
system, its right so to overbalance all the good found in 
ours as to make ours absolutely untrustworthy for a 
Christian to rest in, notwithstanding all circumstances of 
habit, position, and national character ; has such doubts 
on the Roman theory of the Church, the Ultramontane, 
and such instincts not only against many of their popular 
religious customs and practical ways of going on, but 
against their principles of belief (e.g. divine faith = relics), 
as to repel him from any wish to sacrifice his own com- 
munion for theirs ; yet withal, and without any great 
right on his part to complain, is set down as a man who 
may any day, and certainly will some day, go over ; and 
he has no lawful means of removing the suspicion : — why 
is it tanti to submit to this ? 

However little sympathy we Englishmen have with 


Rome, the Western Churches under Rome are really 
living and holy branches of the Church Catholic ; cor- 
ruptions they may have, so may we ; but putting these 
aside, they are Catholic Christians, or Catholic Chris- 
tianity has failed out of the world : we are no more 
[Catholic] than they. But this, public opinio?i has not 
for centuries, and does not now, realise or allow. So no 
one can express in reality and detail a practical belief in 
their Catholicity, in their equality (setting one thing 
against another) with us as Christians, without being 
suspected of what such belief continually leads to — dis- 
loyalty to the English Church. Yet such belief is never- 
theless well-grounded and right, and there is no great 
hope for the Church till it gains ground, soberly, power- 
fully, and apart from all low views of proselytising, or 
fear of danger. What therefore the disadvantage of 
those among us who do not really deserve the imputa- 
tion of Romanising may be meant for, is to break this 
practical belief to the English Church. We may be 
silenced, but, without any wish to leave the English 
Church, we cannot give up the belief, that the Western 
Church under Rome is a true, living, venerable branch 
of the Christian Church. There are dangers in such a 
belief, but they must be provided against, they do not 
affect the truth of the belief. 

Such searchings of heart were necessarily rendered 
more severe and acute by Mr. Newman's act. There 
was no longer any respite \ his dearest friends must 
choose between him and the English Church. And 
the choice was made, by those who did not follow 
him, on a principle little honoured or believed in at 


the time on either side, Roman or Protestant ; but a 
principle which in the long-run restored hope and 
energy to a cause which was supposed to be lost. It 
was not the revival of the old Via Media ; it was not 
the assertion of the superiority of the English Church • 
it was not a return to the old-fashioned and ungener- 
ous methods of controversy with Rome — one-sided in 
all cases, ignorant, coarse, unchristian in many. It 
was not the proposal of a new theory of the Church — 
its functions, authority, and teaching, a counter-ideal 
to Mr. Ward's imposing Ideal. It was the resolute 
and serious appeal from brilliant logic, and keen 
sarcasm, and pathetic and impressive eloquence, to 
reality and experience, as well as to history, as to the 
positive and substantial characteristics of the tradi- 
tional and actually existing English Church, shown not 
on paper but in work, and in spite of contradictory 
appearances and inconsistent elements ; and along 
with this, an attempt to put in a fair and just light the 
comparative excellences and defects of other parts of 
Christendom, excellences to be ungrudgingly admitted, 
but not to be allowed to bar the recognition of defects. 
The feeling which had often stirred, even when things 
looked at the worst, that Mr. Newman had dealt un- 
equally and hardly with the English Church, returned 
with gathered strength. The English Church was 
after all as well worth living in and fighting for as any 
other ; it was not only in England that light and dark, in 
teaching and in life, were largely intermingled, and the 
mixture had to be largely allowed for. We had our 

2 D 


Sparta, a noble, if a rough and an incomplete one \ 
patiently to do our best for it was better than leaving 
it to its fate, in obedience to signs and reasonings 
which the heat of strife might well make delusive. It 
was one hopeful token, that boasting had to be put 
away from us for a long time to come. In these days 
of stress and sorrow were laid the beginnings of a 
school, whose main purpose was to see things as they 
are; which had learned by experience to distrust 
unqualified admiration and unqualified disparagement ; 
determined not to be blinded even by genius to plain 
certainties ; not afraid to honour all that is great and 
beneficent in Rome, not afraid with English frankness 
to criticise freely at home ; but not to be won over, 
in one case, by the good things, to condone and accept 
the bad things ; and not deterred, in the other, from 
service, from love, from self-sacrifice, by the presence 
of much to regret and to resist. 

All this new sense of independence, arising from 
the sense of having been left almost desolate by the 
disappearance of a great stay and light in men's daily 
life, led to various and different results. In some 
minds, after a certain trial, it actually led men back to 
that Romeward tendency from which they had at first 
recoiled. In others, the break-up of the movement 
under such a chief led them on, more or less, and 
some very far, into a career of speculative Liberalism 
like that of Mr. Blanco White, the publication of whose 
biography coincided with Mr. Newman's change. In 
many others, especially in London and the towns, it 


led to new and increasing efforts to popularise in 
various ways — through preaching, organisation, greater 
attention to the meaning, the solemnities, and the 
fitnesses of worship — the ideas of the Church move- 
ment. Dr. Pusey and Mr. Keble were still the re- 
cognised chiefs of the continued yet remodelled 
movement. It had its quarterly organ, the Christian 
Remembrancer^ which had taken the place of the old 
British Critic in the autumn of 1844. A number of 
able Cambridge men had thrown their knowledge and 
thoroughness of work into the Ecdcsiologist. There 
were newspapers — the Englisli Churchman, and, start- 
ing in 1846 from small and difficult beginnings, in the 
face of long discouragement and at times despair, the 
Guardian. One mind of great and rare power, though 
only recognised for what he was much later in his life, 
one undaunted heart, undismayed, almost undepressed, 
so that those who knew not its inner fires thought him 
cold and stoical, had lifted itself above the wreck at 
Oxford. The shock which had cowed and almost 
crushed some of Mr. Newman's friends roused and 
fired Mr. James Mozley. 

To take leave of Mr. Newman (he writes on the 
morrow of the event) is a heavy task. His step was 
not unforeseen ; but when it is come those who knew 
him feel the fact as a real change within them — feel as if 
they were entering upon a fresh stage of their own life. 
May that very change turn to their profit, and discipline 
them by its hardness ! It may do so if they will use it 
so. Let nobody complain ; a time must come, sooner or 


later, in every one's life, when he has to part with 
advantages, connexions, supports, consolations, that he 
has had hitherto, and face a new state of things. Every 
one knows that he is not always to have all that he has 
now : he says to himself, " What shall I do when this 
or that stay, or connexion, is gone ? " and the answer is, 
" That he will do without it." . . . The time comes when 
this is taken away ; and then the mind is left alone, and 
is thrown back upon itself, as the expression is. But no 
religious mind tolerates the notion of being really thrown 
upon itself; this is only to say in other words, that it is 
thrown back upon God. . . . Secret mental consolations, 
whether of innocent self-flattery or reposing confidence, 
are over ; a more real and graver life begins — a firmer, 
harder disinterestedness, able to go on its course by 
itself. Let them see in the change a call to greater 
earnestness, sincerer simplicity, and more solid manli- 
ness. What were weaknesses before will be sins now. 1 

" A new stage has begun. Let no one complain " : 
— this, the expression of individual feeling, represents 
pretty accurately the temper into which the Church 
party settled when the first shock was over. They 
knew that henceforward they had difficult times before 
them. They knew that they must work under sus- 
picion, even under proscription. They knew that they 
must expect to see men among themselves perplexed, 
unsettled, swept away by the influences which had 
affected Mr. Newman, and still more by the precedent 
of his example. They knew that they must be pre- 

1 Christian Remembrance}-, January 1846, pp. 167, 168. 


pared to lose friends and fellow-helpers, and to lose 
them sometimes unexpectedly and suddenly, as the 
wont was so often at this time. Above all, they knew 
that they had a new form of antagonism to reckon 
with, harder than any they had yet encountered. It 
had the peculiar sad bitterness which belongs to civil 
war, when men's foes are they of their own households 
— the bitterness arising out of interrupted intimacy 
and affection. Neither side could be held blameless ; 
the charge from the one of betrayal and desertion was 
answered by the charge from the other of insincerity 
and faithlessness to conscience, and by natural but 
not always very fair attempts to proselytise ; and un- 
doubtedly, the English Church, and those who adhered 
to it, had, for some years after 1845, t0 near fr° m the 
lips of old friends the most cruel and merciless in- 
vectives which knowledge of her weak points, wit, 
argumentative power, eloquence, and the triumphant 
exultation at once of deliverance and superiority could 
frame. It was such writing and such preaching as had 
certainly never been seen on the Roman side before, 
at least in England. Whether it was adapted to its 
professed purpose may perhaps be doubted ; but the 
men who went certainly lost none of their vigour as 
controversialists or their culture as scholars. Not to 
speak of Mr. Newman, such men as Mr. Oakeley, 
Mr. Ward, Mr. Faber, and Mr. Dalgairns more than 
fulfilled in the great world of London their reputation 
at Oxford. This was all in prospect before the eyes 
of those who had elected to cast in their lot with the 


English Church. It was not an encouraging position. 
The old enthusiastic sanguineness had been effectually 
quenched. Their Liberal critics and their Liberal 
friends have hardly yet ceased to remind them how 
sorry a figure they cut in the eyes of men of the world, 
and in the eyes of men of bold and effective thinking. 1 
The "poor Puseyites" are spoken of in tones half of 
pity and half of sneer. Their part seemed played out. 
There seemed nothing more to make them of import- 
ance. They had not succeeded in Catholicising the 
English Church ; they had not even shaken it by a 
wide secession. Henceforth they were only marked 
men. All that could be said for them was, that at the 
worst, they did not lose heart. They had not forgotten 
the lessons of their earlier time. 

It is not my purpose to pursue farther the course 
of the movement. All the world knows that it was 
not, in fact, killed or even much arrested by the shock 
of 1845. But after 1845, its field was at least as much 
out of Oxford as in it. As long as Mr. Newman re- 
mained, Oxford was necessarily its centre, necessarily, 
even after he had seemed to withdraw from it. "When 
he left his place vacant, the direction of it was not 
removed from Oxford, but it was largely shared by 
men in London and the country. It ceased to be 

1 E.g. the Warden of Merton's History of the University of 
Oxford, p. 212. "The first panic was succeeded by a reaction ; 
some devoted adherents followed him (Mr. Newman) to Rome ; 
others relapsed into lifeless conformity ; and the University soon 
resumed its wonted tranquillity." "Lifeless conformity" sounds 
odd connected with Dr. Pusey or Mr. J. B. Mozley, and the London 
men who were the founders of the so-called Ritualist schools. 


strongly and prominently Academical. No one in- 
deed held such a position as Dr. Pusey's and Mr. 
Keble's; but though Dr. Pusey continued to be a 
great power at Oxford, he now became every day a 
much greater power outside of it ; while Mr. Keble 
was now less than ever an Academic, and became 
more and more closely connected with men out of 
Oxford, his friends in London and his neighbours at 
Hursley and Winchester. The cause which Mr. New- 
man had given up in despair was found to be deeply 
interesting in ever new parts of the country : and it 
passed gradually into the hands of new leaders more 
widely acquainted with English society. It passed 
into the hands of the Wilberforces, and Archdeacon 
Manning; of Mr. Bennett, Mr. Dodsworth, Mr. W. 
Scott, Dr. Irons, Mr. E. Hawkins, and Mr Upton 
Richards in London. It had the sympathy and 
counsels of men of weight, or men who were rising 
into eminence and importance — some of the Judges, 
Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Roundell Palmer, Mr. Frederic 
Rogers, Mr. Mountague Bernard, Mr. Hope Scott (as 
he afterwards was), Mr. Badeley, and a brilliant recruit 
from Cambridge, Mr. Beresford Hope. It attracted 
the sympathy of another boast of Cambridge, the great 
Bishop of New Zealand, and his friend Mr. Whyte- 
head. Those times were the link between what we 
are now, so changed in many ways, and the original 
impulse given at Oxford ; but to those times I am as 
much of an outsider as most of the foremost in them 
were outsiders to Oxford in the earlier days. Those 

408 THE OXFORD MOVEMENT chap, xix 

times are almost more important than the history of 
the movement ; for, besides vindicating it, they carried 
on its work to achievements and successes which, even 
in the most sanguine days of " Tractarianism," had 
not presented themselves to men's minds, much less 
to their hopes. But that story must be told by others. 
"Show thy servants thy work, and their children 
thy glory." 


Addresses to Archbishop of 

Canterbury, by clergy and 

laity, 106, 107 

Anglicanism, its features in 

1830, 9 

Newman's views on, 212, 

222, 225, 267, 273 
Newman's interpretation of, 
Apologia, quotations from, 119, 
131, 134, 178, 199, 203, 270, 
271, 281 
Apostolic Succession, 33, 123 
Newman's insistence on, 

33, 112, 123 
its foundation on Prayer 
Book, 115 
Apostolicity of English Church, 

Archbishop of Canterbury. See 

Addresses, and Howley 
Avians, the, 132, 226 
Arnold, Dr., theories on the 
Church, 6, 7, 51 
his proposal to unite all 

sects by law, 101 
attack on Tractarians, 151 
Professorship at Oxford, 

his influence shown in rise 
of third school, 391 

Articles, the, and Dissenters, 
subscription of. See Dr. 
Hampden, and Thirty- 
nine Articles 

Baptism, Tract on, 136, 262 

Baptistery, the, 315 

Bennett, Mr. , 407 

Bentham. See Utilitarianism 

Bernard, Mr. Mountague, 407 

Bishoprics, suppression of ten 

Irish, 92 
Bishops' attitude to movement, 
231, 249, 282 
the first Tract on, 112 
Blachford, Lord, reminiscences 

of Froude, 34, 57 
Bliss, James, 131 
Blomfield, Bishop, 249, 317 
British Association, a sign of the 

times, 19 
British Critic on the movement, 

196, 226, 253, 254, 265, 270, 

294. 33 2 
British Magazine, 32, 94, 190 
Brougham, Lord, 18 
Bunsen, M., and the Bishopric 

of Jerusalem, 316 
Burton, Dr., 101, 158 



Cambridge, critical school of 

theology, 16 
Capes, Mr., 394 
Card well, Dr. , 327 
Catastrophe, the, 385-408 
Catholicity of English Church, 

228, 240, 274, 284, 350 
Catholicus s letters to the Times, 

Celibacy, observations on, 369 
Celibate clergy scheme, 53, 127 
Changes in movement, 218-242 
Christian Remembrancer, 139, 

Christian Year, 21, 25 
Christianity, Church of England, 

two schools of, 9 
Christie, Albany, 394 
Christie, J. F., 131 
Church, the, in eighteenth cen- 
tury, 3 
Dr. Whately's theories on, 

5- 6, 51, 149 
Dr. Arnold's theories, 6 
Coleridge's theories, 148 
Apostolic origin of, 9, 33, 

94, 114, 228, 229 
various conceptions of, 50 
political attacks on, 93, 102 
public mind indifferent to, 

Dr. Pusey's theories on, 

theological aspect of, 190 
practical aspect of, 190 
and the Roman question, 

Catholicity of, 226, 228, 

240, 274 
and the doctrine of Develop- 
ment, 229, 395 
( hurch of the Fathers, 190, 369 
"Churchman's Manual," 125 

Scotch Bishops on, 125 
Churton, Mr. (ofCrayke), 126 
Claughton, Mr. Piers, 319 

Clergy of eighteenth century, 

character of, 3 
Close, Dr. (of Cheltenham), 298 
Coffin, Mr., 394 
Coleridge, Mr. Justice, 333 
Coleridge, S. T. , influence on 
Charles Marriott, 79 
Church theories, 148 
Conservative Journal, Newman's 

language towards Rome, 232 
Copeland, William John, 65, 

131, 146, 337 
Cornish, C. L. , 75 
Creeds, the, pamphlets on, 10 1 
authority of, 163 

Dalgairns, Mr., 236, 237, 394 
Defeats, the Three, 312-335. See 

also Isaac Williams, Mac- 

mullen, and Pusey 
Dickinson, Dr. , ' ' Pastoral 

Epistle from his Holiness the 

Pope," 202 
Diffusion of Useful Knowledge 

Society, 18 
Dissenters and the Articles, 146- 

158. See also Thirty -nine 

Dodsworth, Mr., 407 
Dominic, Father, receives New- 
man into Church of Rome. 

Donkin, Mr., 381 
Doyle, Sir F. , on Newman's 

sermons, 143 

Ecclesiologist founded, 403 

Eden, C. P., 325 

Edinburgh Review, article by 
Dr. Arnold on Tractarians, 
151, 171 

" Elucidations of Dr. Hamp- 
den's Theological Statements," 

English Churchman founded, 



Evangelicism in 1830, character 
of, 13, 14 

FABER, Francis, 319, 325, 394 
Faber, Frederic, 236 
Fasting, Tract on, 150 
Faussett, Dr., 294, 297 

attack on Dr. Pusey, 328 
Froude, Richard Hurrell, 27, 

pupil of Keble, 27, 41 
Fellow of Oriel, 29, 35 
first meeting with Newman. 

early estimate of Newman, 

travels with Newman, 32 
influence on the movement, 

his severe self - discipline, 

character, 37 

Mozley's remarks on, 39, 49 
correspondence, 39, 47 
his Remains published, 42 
effect of publication, 42, 

a modern estimate of the 

Remains, 44 
events of 1830, 49 
theory of the Church, 51 
sermons and writings, 54 
Lord Blachford's reminis- 
cences of, 57 
Froude, William, 131 

Garbett, Mr., elected Professor 

of Poetry, 315, 318 
Gilbert, Dr., 171, 316 
Gladstone, Mr., 215, 333, 381, 

Golightly, Mr., 221, 319 
Gorham, Mr. , 290 
Grammar of Assent on Faith 

and Reason, 255 
Grcenhill, Dr., 325, 381 

Guardian founded, 403 
Guillemard, Mr., 382 

Haddan, A., 337 

Iladleigh, Conference of leaders 

at - 3 2 - 35- 94. 95 
policy adopted, 99, 100, 
104, 108 
Hampden, Dr., 79, 159-176 

advocates abolition of sub- 
scription of Articles, 153 
his election as Professor of 

Divinity, 158 
outcry against election of, 

168, 169 
Bampton Lectures, 162 
so-called "persecution" of, 

modern estimate of the 

" persecution," 172 
deprived of vote for Select 

Preachers, 170, 318 
his action in the B. D. degree 
contest, 320 
Hare, Julius, 16 
Hawkins, Dr., 326, 329 
Hawkins, E., 407 
Hill, Mr., 172 
Hobhouse, Mr. , 325 
Holland House, 18 
" Home Thoughts Abroad," 32 
Hook, Dr., 12, 212, 219, 292, 

Hope, Mr. Beresford, 407 
Howley, Archbishop, 249, 317 
Hussey, Mr., 325 

Ideal of a Christian Church. 

See W. G. Ward 
Infallibility, views on, 210, 274 
Irons, Dr., 407 

Jebb, Bishop, 33 
Jelf, Dr., 329 
Jenkyns, Dr., 329 
Jerusalem, Bishopric of, 316 



Jerusalem, Bishopric of, New- 
man's protest against, 317 
Jolly, Bishop, 125 
Jowett, Mr., 381 

Kaye, Bishop, 12, 249 
Keble, John, 21, 23-33, 337> 
brilliant Oxford career, 23 
suspicions of Evangelicism, 

a strong Tory, 25 
his poetic nature, 25 
influence on Froude, 27, 28, 

31. 4i 

his pupils, 27 

sermon on National Apos- 
tasy, 92, 121 

tract on ' ' Mysticism of the 
Fathers," 264 

resigns Poetry Professorship, 

Keble, Thomas, 71 
Knox, Alexander, 33, 148 

Law's Serious Call, Keble's 
remark on, 29 

Le Bas, Mr., 12 

Lectures on Justification, New- 
man's, influence of, 263 

Letter to the Bishop of Oxford, 
Newman's, 276, 292 

Letters of an Episcopalian, 6 

Lewis, D. , 394 

Library of the Fathers, 86, 138 

Lloyd's, Bishop, Lectures, in- 
fluence of, 47, 214 

Lowe, R., 294 

Lyall, Mr., 12 

Lyra Aposiolica, 32 

Macmullen, Mr., 312 

his contest on B. D. degree, 
Manning, Archdeacon, 407 

Marriott, Charles, 34, 79-91, 
influenced by Coleridge and 

Dr. Hampden, 79 
aversion to party action, 80 
Scholar of Balliol, 81 
Fellow of Oriel, 81 
Newman's influence on, 85 
Moberly's influence on, 85 
Principal of Chichester Theo- 
logical College, 86 
scheme of poor students' 

hall, 86 
Tutor of Oriel, 86 
Vicar of St. Mary's, 86 
his sermons, 86 
rooms and parties, 87 
share in Library of the 

Fathers, 86, 138 
Mozley's estimate of, 90, 91 
death, 91 
Marsh, Bishop, 249 
"Martyrs' Memorial," connex- 
ion with the movement, 219- 
Maurice, F. D., views of, 16, 

156, 317 
Melbourne, Lord, 158 
Meyrick, T. , 394 
Miller, John (of Worcester), 

Bampton Lectures, influence 

of, 11 
Moberly, Dr. (of Winchester), 

85. 337 
Monophysite Controversy, 225, 

Morris, John Brande, 235, 394 
Mozley, James, 39, 131, 320, 

337. 4°3 
on Newman's sermons, 139 
on " No. 90," 287 
Mozley, Thomas, 131, 371 

on Charles Marriott, 90, 91 
on Froude, 39, 49 
"Mysticism of the Fathers in 
the use and interpretation of 



Scripture," Keble's Tract on, 

National Apostasy, Keble's 

sermon on, 92, 121 
Newman, John Henry — 
his early preaching, 21 
meeting with Froude, 29 
Froude's early estimate of, 30 
on Apostolic Succession, q.v. 
on Infallibility, 210, 274 
attitude at different times to 

Rome, 46, 54, 203, 205, 

210, 232, 277, 398 
early friends, 65 
first Tract, written by, no 
his four o'clock sermons, 

129, 139, 188, 192 
chief coadjutors of, 131 
views on subscription of 

Articles, 157 
on Dr. Hampden's theology, 

character, 187 
Lectures, 188 
Lectures on Justification, 

Anglicanism, views on, 212, 

222, 230 
resigns St. Mary's, 232 
not a proselytiser, 233 
Letter to Bishop of Oxford, 

276, 292 
interpretation of Church 

formularies, 282 
on the Articles. See ' ' No. 

Essay on the Development of 

Christian Doctrine, 229, 

joins Church of Rome, 395 
Nicknames, 161, 183 
" No. 90," 266-295 

Newman's attitude on, 186 
object to defend Catholicity 
of the Articles, 284 

" No. 90," its reception, 290 
charge of dishonesty against, 

condemned by Board of 

Heads, 291 
pamphlet war on, 293 
the crisis of the movement, 

294, 360 
events after, 296-311 

OAKELEY, Mr., 371, 394 

article on "Jewel," 371 
Ogilvie, Dr., 329 
Ordination, validity of, 116 
Origines Liturgicce, 99 
Oxford, Liberal School of Theo- 
logy, 17 

Orthodoxy, 70 

as a Church School, 153 
Oxford Movement — 

political conditions of, 1, 

beginnings of, 23 

Keble the primary author 
of, 3 1 

early writings towards, 32 

the leaders, 34 

forced on the originators, 

object of, 127 

accession of Dr. Pusey and 
his influence, 132, 133, 134 

gradual growth of, 177-204 

attitude to Romanism, 201- 
217, 223, 258 

changes in, 218-242 

tendency to Romanism, 239, 
266, 301, 336 

in origin anti-Roman, 241 

attitude of University author- 
ities towards, 243, 246, 
251, 302-311, 324, 377, 

attitude of Bishops towards, 

mistakes in conduct of, 2^2 



Oxford Movement — 

rise of third school, 390 
secessions to Rome, 394 

Palmer, William, share in 
movement, 34, 89, 95, 
118, 292, 319, 372 
Origines Liturgicce, 99 
Narrative, 172 
Treatise on the Church of 
Christ, 214 
Palmer, Mr. Roundell, 407 
Park, Judge Allan, 125 
Parochial Sermons, 192 
Pattison, Mark, 218 
Peel, Sir Robert, 313 
Perceval, A., share in movement, 

95, 102, 107, 125, 292 
Phillpotts, Bishop, 249 
Plain Sermons, 75 
Poetry Professorship, contest for, 

made a theological one, 315 
Prophetical Office of the Church, 

" Prospects of the Anglican 
Church," 270 
Newman's after - thoughts 
on, 270 
Pusey, Dr., 11, 34, 183, 312, 396 
joins the movement, 132 
effect of his adhesion, 133, 


his Remonstrance, 202 

tract on Baptism, 136, 262 

attack on him, 327 

sermon on the Holy Euch- 
arist "delated" to Vice- 
Chancellor, 328 

unfairness of proceedings 
against, 330 

memorial toVice-Chancellor, 
on his case, 333 

" Records of the Church," 118 
Reform days, state of Church, 

Reformers, early, views of, 220 
Remonstrance, 202 
"Reserve in communicating 
Religious Knowledge," Isaac 
Williams's tract on, 264 
Richards, Mr, Upton, 407 
Rogers, Frederic, 131, 384, 

Romanism and Popular Protest- 
antism, 204-209 
Romanism, 201-217, 22 3> 2 5% 
misconceptions of, 204-206 
Newman's attitude towards, 
46, 54, 203, 205, 207, 
213, 232, 277, 398 
tendency in party of move- 
ment towards, 239, 266, 

301, 33 6 
Rose, Hugh James, 12, 34, 95, 
an estimate of, 95 
lectures on German specula- 
tion, 96 
controversy with Dr. Pusey, 

early death, 97 
Routh, Dr., 11, 126, 304 
Rusticus, pamphlets by, 156 
Ryder, G. , 394 

St. John, Mr. Ambrose, 394 
Scott, Mr. Hope, 407 
Scott, W. , 407 
Seager, Charles, 235 
Selwyn, Bishop, 314, 407 
Sewell, William, 149, 319, 325 
Shairp, Principal, on Newman's 

sermons, 141 
Sikes, Mr. (of Guilsborough), 

125, 146 
Simpson, Mr., 394 
Stanley, Mr. Arthur, 237, 325, 

340, 381, 392 
Sterling, John, 17 
Subscription. See Thirty-nine 




Sumner, J. Bird, Bishop, 249, 

Symons, Dr., 172, 297, 326, 

3 2 9 
opposition to, as Vice- 
Chancellor, 375 

Tait, Mr. (of Balliol), 291, 319, 

Theologians of 1830, 10-12 
Third party in Church — 
rise of, 390 
influence, 402 et seq. 
Th irl wall, Connop, 17 
Thirty-nine Articles, subscription 
of, 146-158 
Dr. Hampden and subscrip- 
tion, 153 
pamphlet war on subscrip- 
tion, 155 
Newman on subscription, 

their Catholicity, 284, 348. 

And see W. G. Ward 
" No. 90 " on, 285 
Thomas, Vaughan, 172 
Times, letters of Catholicus to, 

3 r 3 
Tottenham, E. , 147 
Tractarian doctrines, discussion 
of, 182 
Movement. See Oxford 
Tractarians, excitement against, 

Tract, text of the first, 112 
Tracts, the — 

topics of, 118 

mode of circulating, 119 

reception of, 11 9-1 21, 201 

accused of Romanism, 120 

first volume of, 122 

later numbers, character of, 

public opinion against, 150 
" No. 90," q.v. 
contributors to, 129 

Tracts, the — 

on " Reserve," q.v. 

on "Mysticism," q.v. 
Treatise on the Church of Christ, 
214, 215 

Utilitarianism, influence on 
religious belief, 18 

Via Media, o.i'Z, 283 

Wall, Mr., 325 

Ward, W. G. , 236, 294, 336- 

359. 394 
dismissed from Balliol 

Lectureship, 312, 344 
writings on Romanism, 341 
his criticisms of English 

Church, 355 
I deal of a Christian Church, 

346, 360-384 
on " No. 90," 294, 347 
on the Articles, 349 
hostility to Lutheranism, 

his philosophy of religion, 

his book condemned, 368, 

himself "degraded," 382 
joins Church of Rome, 394 
Watson, Joshua, 70, 125 
Wellington, Duke of, 129 
Whately, Dr.— 

theories on Church, 5, 6, 

opposed to Tractarians, 149 
Letters of an Episcopalian , 6 
White, Blanco, 17, 149, 314, 

Whytehead, Mr., 407 
Wilberforce, Henry, 131, 407 
Wilberforce, Robert, 27, 35, 67, 

131. 407 
Williams, Isaac, 27, 34, 65-78, 

I3L 312, 337- 397 



Williams, Isaac, Keble's influ- 
ence on, 67 
Fellow of Trinity, 71 
connexion with Newman, 72 
divergences from Newman, 

73. 77 

contributions to Plain Ser- 
mons, 75 

aversion to Rome, 77 

his poetry, 78 

defeated for Poetry Profes- 
sorship, 315, 318 

Williams, Isaac, Tract on "Re- 
serve," 76, 264 
Wilson, H. B., 290, 291, 

Wilson, R. F., 131 
Wiseman, Dr., 212 

article on Donatists, 226 
Wood, S. F., 131 
Woodgate, Mr. ,' 337 
Wordsworth, Dr., 126 
Wynter, Dr., 297, 327 


Printed by R & R. Clark, Edinburgh.